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Farmers' markets offer different strokes for different folks
Date:2/19/2010

t want to get your zucchini and go home, you won't stop at a market with a carnival atmosphere because all of the people engaged in entertainment and social causes are in your way."

The point is, markets are going to turn some people on and turn some people off, he said.

The study identified five preference-based consumer segments: market enthusiasts, recreational shoppers, serious shoppers, low-involved shoppers, and basic shoppers each with significantly different demographics and behavior characteristics.

Mazzocco advises market organizers to pay attention to community demographics for indicators of their potential and actual customers.

"We don't want to tell market organizers who they should be targeting. All we can tell them is they are targeting something, whether intentionally or not. And, what works one place, may not work somewhere else."

Adding a market at the same location but at a different time or day may actually draw the same customers. "We learned that people are not monogamous when it comes to farmers' markets," Mazzocco said. "If they're going to a farmers' market on a Saturday, they will generally go to the same one. But a Thursday afternoon farmers' market can augment Saturday's and get the same customers. Some people will go twice, perhaps because they have run out of what they bought on Saturday. So, it's about freshness."

Mazzocco said the study got a strong message from people that buying fresh is an important feature, but not necessarily organic. "People going to the market expected to find organic, but weren't going there specifically for it. They expected to see it there and to be one of their choices, but that wasn't why they were going there."

Two other points of interest in the study were that food safety was something market shoppers cared about, and, on average, people spent about $20 per person, per visit.

At the six market locations, 508 questionnaires were comple
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Contact: Debra Levey Larson
dlarson@illinois.edu
217-244-2880
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

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