Mi Fm & Local Food Perceptions


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2009 FSEP Conference

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Mi Fm & Local Food Perceptions

  1. 1. Michiganders’ Local Food Perspectives David S Conner, Kathryn Colasanti, Susan B. Smalley, C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems Brent Ross Michigan State University
  2. 2. Acknowledgements State funds for this project were matched with Federal funds under the Federal- State Marketing Improvement Program of the Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.
  3. 3. Overview: Increasing Farmers Market Patronage in Michigan • Goal to increase farmers market participation, especially among under-served populations • Outputs include recommendations to market managers, vendors to increase market traffic, broaden customer base, enhance sales
  4. 4. Increasing Farmers Market Patronage in Michigan: Qualitative Results
  5. 5. Farmers Market Background • Shoppers tend to be highly educated, professional, middle-aged to older, middle-upper income, Caucasian and female • Produce freshness is a primary reason consumers prefer farmers markets • Lack of awareness, inconvenient times or no market in the area are primary reasons consumers do not shop at farmers markets
  6. 6. Research Motivation • Most research about FMs has been collected from market shoppers • Typical FM shopper is not representative of diverse populations • Under-represented groups – Young singles – Young parents – Low-income households – Racial and ethnic minorities
  7. 7. Research Questions • What are consumers’ awareness levels, motivations and behaviors surrounding farmers markets? • What are consumers’ perceived barriers or disincentives to greater participation in farmers markets?
  8. 8. Focus Groups • Purposeful, maximum variation sampling method • 7 focus groups with a total of 63 people 1. Rural, Caucasian 2. Rural, Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American 3. Rural, Mexican-American women 4. Rural, Caucasian 5. Urban, Arab-American women 6. Urban, Young Singles, Caucasian, Hispanic, African-American 7. Urban, Young Parents, Asian and Middle Eastern Immigrants
  9. 9. Overview of Results
  10. 10. Overview of Results
  11. 11. Overview of Results
  12. 12. Overview of Results
  13. 13. Signs and Promotion “You must let people know when, where, to open the farm market. Maybe many people like to choose fresh vegetables, fresh fruit from market. But if they always miss the time, they always miss the farm market in just maybe Saturday, one day in only one place, so I think you let people know where, when, is very important. Sometimes maybe you can from the newspaper in [name of city] even… Many people didn't know. They don't know where, when and what.”
  14. 14. Overview of Results
  15. 15. Time Constraints “There is certain food that they run out of and that they only bring a certain amount of, and when it is gone it is gone. And this year I have noticed, because it is a lot busier than it has ever been, if you are not there early you do not have a lot of choices. Sometimes if I can’t get there until the afternoon I might not go. It might not be worth my time to go.”
  16. 16. Overview of Results
  17. 17. Location and Facilities • Downtown location – Walkable vs. out of the way – Excursion vs. grocery shopping – Visible location vs. traffic congestion • Facilities – Payment methods – General appearance
  18. 18. Overview of Results
  19. 19. Atmosphere • Vendors and customers openly annoyed with their children • Asked to purchase things that their kids had touched • Feeling of “being watched” • Offended by how vendors presented themselves
  20. 20. Key Themes for Follow-Up • Fairness of prices • Adequacy of selection and produce quality • Convenience of hours and location • Welcoming atmosphere of the farmers market • Significant demographic differences
  21. 21. Quantitative Data Collection • Questions on quarterly State of the State Poll conducted by MSU, October 2008 • N=953, representative sample of state • Questions included • Behavior: shopper, market attendance, money spent • Attitudes: importance of price, quality, convenience, atmosphere, food safety, etc. on shopping decision • Beliefs: are farmers’ markets good value, convenient, welcoming? • Demographics: sex, ethnicity, income, age, education, HH size; plus religion, political views
  22. 22. Data Analysis • Descriptive: means and frequencies • Cross-tabulation and group means • Regressions –Ordinary Least Squares for expenditure –Binary (Probit) for FM shopper
  23. 23. Results: Descriptive Stats • 90% of respondents do some food shopping (other 10% skipped subsequent questions) • Of those: – 61% had attended a farmers market in past year – Reported shopping four times (mean) in previous month (September 2008) and spending on average $25 per trip (median) – $200 million statewide in September ($100/month, ~4 million households, ~50% of population shopped at FM) – Ag Census 2007: $50 million direct food sales statewide – Over/undercounting?
  24. 24. Descriptives, cont’d Most important factors in where to shop • Food quality (3.80) • Food safety (3.75) • Supporting local farmers (3.71) For FM shoppers • Agreed markets are: easily accessible, adequate supplies • Not able to use preferred payment method (e.g., EBT, credit or debit cards) Non-shoppers: agreed good value and welcoming atmosphere
  25. 25. Cross-tabulation &Comparison (race/ethnicity) • Latinos – Less likely (than rest of population) to shop at FMs – More likely to cite variety, location and convenience and welcoming atmosphere as important • African Americans are – More loyal to current stores – Find FMs comfortable and conveniently located – Importance on food safety and products grown without pesticides
  26. 26. Cross-tabulation & Comparison (income/age) Low income: (<$20K) place more value on price, convenience, one-stop shopping and products grown without pesticides Young parents (18-35) • Less likely to shop at FMs • Place more importance on convenient hours, one-stop shopping and welcoming atmosphere.
  27. 27. Regression: FM shopper Statistically significant variables + more likely to be a FM shopper • Single (+) • White (+) • Employed part time (-) • Latino (-) Importance of… • Quality (+) • Support local (+) • Convenience (-) • One-stop shop (-)
  28. 28. Regression: Market Spending # shopping trips in last month (Sept 08) x $ spent Higher expenditure associated with • Very important view of: –Value –Welcoming atmosphere –Pesticide free produce • Less importance on convenience
  29. 29. Regression: Market Spending • Female • # children at home • Union status All negative in sign Themes: quality, local (+), convenience (-)
  30. 30. Recommendations: Managers and Vendors • Market the market: use multiple communication channels to let people know location and hours • Recruit more farmers of color (especially Latinos) to make markets more welcoming to all • Accept credit cards and EBT/Bridge Card payment for increased convenience • Highlight availability of Michigan Grown products with labels and signs
  31. 31. Recommendations: Policy For state and federal policy makers • Enhance state promotion efforts like Select Michigan • Encourage state agencies to highlight food stamp recipients’ ability to purchase healthy food • Assist farmers to adopt organic/sustainable practices For local policy makers • Integrate FMs within planning efforts: balance of accessible, lively, family friendly
  32. 32. Conclusions • High current reported participation, room for improvement with marketing, policy efforts • Limitations: –FGs not representative, –Social desirability bias (survey/census) • Future directions: investigate tensions –Convenience and atmosphere –Downtown vs. ample parking –Lively vs. family friendly
  33. 33. Defining Locally Grown Food Locally Grown Definitions MUST BE GROWN BY FARMER PERSON KNOWS 3.5% MUST BE GROWN IN 18.3% THE COUNTY PERSON 11.2% LIVES MUST BE GROWN 18.0% WITHIN A 100 MILES OF HOME MUST BE GROWN IN MICHIGAN 49.1% Nearly half say MUST BE GROWN IN Local = Michigan GREAT LAKES REGION
  34. 34. Locally Grown – September 2008 Did you purchase/receive locally grow n food during Septem ber 2008? 25% 1YES 5 NO About ¾ got 75% SOME local food
  35. 35. Locally-grown Food Perspectives Locally Grown Food Costs Too Much STRONGLY AGREE 3% 25% SOMEWHAT AGREE 25% NEITHER 1% AGREE/DISAGREE How do your prices compare SOMEWHAT DISAGREE with non-local Items? 46% STRONGLY DISAGREE
  36. 36. Locally-grown Food Perspectives Locally Grow n Foods are Available at the Places I Like to Shop STRONGLY AGREE 10% SOMEWHAT AGREE 25% 21% NEITHER AGREE/ DISAGREE SOMEWHAT DISAGREE 1% STRONGLY DISAGREE 43%
  37. 37. Locally-grown Food Perspectives It doesn't m atter to m e STRONGLY AGREE if m y food is locally grow n SOMEWHAT AGREE 22% 10% NEITHER AGREE/DISAGREE 28% SOMEWHAT DISAGREE 39% 1% STRONGLY DISAGREE Local matters to some extent to over half
  38. 38. Locally-grown Food Perspectives I would buy more locally grown foods if they were easier to identify at the store STRONGLY AGREE 2% SOMEWHAT AGREE 10% 1% NEITHER AGREE/DISAGREE 28% 59% SOMEWHAT DISAGREE STRONGLY DISAGREE How do you help Customers ID local?
  39. 39. Locally-grown Food Perspectives I don't have Tim e to Shop STRONGLY AGREE for Locally Grow n Foods SOMEWHAT AGREE 11% NEITHER 36% 24% AGREE/DISAGREE SOMEWHAT DISAGREE 1% 28% STRONGLY DISAGREE How can you help customers save time when they purchase from you?
  40. 40. Locally-grown Food Perspectives I cannot find the kinds of locally grown foods I want, when I want them STRONGLY AGREE 13% 23% SOMEWHAT AGREE How do you communicate NEITHER what you have AGREE/DISAGREE to sell? 33% SOMEWHAT 30% DISAGREE 1% STRONGLY DISAGREE
  41. 41. Locally-grown Food Perspectives There are some kinds of locally grown foods that I don't use because I don't know how to prepare or cook them STRONGLY AGREE 13% SOMEWH AGREE AT 35% 24% NEITH AGREE/DISAGREE ER What prep information do you SOMEWH DISAGREE AT 1% provide? 27% STRONGLY DISAGREE
  42. 42. Value of Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing* by Region, 1997-2007
  43. 43. Growth of Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing by Region, 1997-2007
  44. 44. Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing Sales by Region as a Share of Total Agricultural Sales
  45. 45. Top 10 States, Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing as Share of Total Agricultural Sales Where is Michigan?
  46. 46. Top 10 States, Growth of Direct-to- Consumer Food Marketing, 1997-2007 Where is Michigan?
  47. 47. Michigan Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing as Share of Total Agricultural Sales, 2007 1.2% 1.0% 1.0% 1.0% 0.8% 0.8% 0.7% 0.6% 0.4% 0.2% 0.0% 1992 1997 2002 2007
  48. 48. 2007 Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing Sales
  49. 49. Farms Participating in Direct-to- Consumer Food Marketing, 2007
  50. 50. Value of Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing Sales, 2007
  51. 51. C.S. Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture at Michigan State University is pleased to be a sponsor We engage communities in applied research and outreach that promote sustainable food systems to improve access to and availability of healthy, locally-produced food For more information: www.mottgroup.msu.edu 517-432-1612