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What Influences Consumer Choice of Fresh Produce Purchase Location?

  • Jennifer Keeling Bond (a1), Dawn Thilmany (a1) and Craig Bond (a1)

Abstract

There is evidence that consumers are increasingly purchasing food directly from local producers, but little is understood about which market-specific, intrinsic, extrinsic, and demographic attributes influence the probability of preferring to purchase fresh produce through direct-market channels. A multinomial logit model is used to analyze a national dataset of fresh produce consumers with a focus on exploring differences among those that prefer to purchase direct always, occasionally (seasonally and as a secondary source), and never. Results suggest that to increase patronage and loyalty of current customers, producers may emphasize the availability of fresh, superior, vitamin-rich, and locally-grown produce at market locations through booth displays, ads in magazines, radio spots, and electronic newsletters. To attract new customers who do not currently admit a preference for purchasing direct, producers may find greater success by locating in convenient-to-reach venues, showcasing a variety of colorful offerings, and working to enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of market locations.

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