Study: Locally grown is more important than organic to consumers

RICHMOND—It’s more important to consumers that food is grown locally than whether it is grown organically or traditionally, a new study has found.

“That’s good news, because local foods are grown on both traditional and organic farms,” said Tony Banks, Virginia Farm Bureau Federation commodity marketing specialist. “There is a demand for both. And no matter what kind of farm raised the food, if it’s local then it helps the local economy.”

Seventy percent of consumers polled said they are willing to pay more for locally grown food, according to the survey conducted by A.T. Kearney, a Chicago-based global management consulting firm. “That’s a benefit to local growers as well,” Banks said.

The study found that consumers from many different economic backgrounds want local foods. “Buying Into the Local Food Movement,” was conducted in November 2012 and polled 1,300 Americans. Most were the primary grocery shoppers in their households.

According to the study, 69 percent of consumers buy local because they believe it helps the local economy; 60 percent believe it offers a better assortment of products; and 45 percent believe locally grown food is healthier.

But it still comes down to convenience. Only 30 percent of the survey respondents said they would consider buying food elsewhere if their grocery stores didn’t carry local foods.

Contact Banks at 804-290-1114.

Support Virginia Agriculture

Join Now

Related Articles

Get Recognized

If your publication or radio or television station is delivering stellar coverage of agriculture on an ongoing basis, this is the award competition to enter. Learn More