Consumers Have a Strict Definition of Local

May 9, 2016
Consumers have tightened their definition of local but their wallets remain open to supporting the cause.

An annual survey found that most consumers define local food as sourced within 100 miles of the point of sale. Consumers have tightened their definition of local but their wallets remain open to supporting the cause, according to A.T. Kearney’s 2015 Local Food Consumer Shopping Survey.

Findings from the survey include:

“Local food” has been redefined. Almost all consumers have coalesced around a stricter definition of local. Ninety-six percent now describe the local food as products grown or produced within 100 miles from the point of sale—up from 58% in 2014.

Access to local food is no longer the primary roadblock to increasing local food sales. Only 27% of consumers say products are not available. However, about half say they are not buying local because of a lack of clear advertising/in-store signage.

Almost all consumers (93%) associate local with “fresh,” which is the primary purchasing factor for grocery consumers.

78% of consumers are willing to pay a premium of 10% or more for local food, up from 70% in 2014. Demand for local food is expanding beyond produce, meat and seafood. More consumers say local is also an important attribute for prepared foods and dry groceries. For canned and jarred products, locally increased in importance from 5% in 2014 to 13% in 2015; for prepared foods, the jump was from 10% to 23%; for bread, the increase was from 9% to 18%.

Shopping and eating local has become more than a feel-good endeavor or a twice a year slogan to draw consumers to small and medium businesses. Through the broad exposure of grocery cart advertising, StarKart helps thousands of local businesses stand out in their communities. The advertising network reaches thousands of locations in forty-nine states, Washington D.C. and Canada. Consumers are willing to drive hundreds of miles to purchase their favorite products and services from nearby businesses.

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