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Shopping for Local Foods in the U.S.

  • January 2015
  • -
  • Packaged Facts
  • -
  • 89 pages

Locally grown and produced foods are experiencing surging consumer demand and widening availability. Some members of the industry even are saying that locally grown will be the next organic. Contributing to their long-term potential, local foods are not just a food store category or segment but a marketing construct. For retailers, foodservice operators, and food marketers alike, local has, in other words, become a shorthand descriptor that makes food sound high quality, fresher, more authentic, trustworthy, environmentally friendly, and supportive of the local community—key factors for attracting shoppers into the store and encouraging repeat business.

Despite the media hype, increased consumer interest, and growing presence in grocery stores and restaurants, however, locally sourced food remains a fraction of the nation's total food supply. Packaged Facts calculates that local foods generated $11.7 billion in sales in 2014, or 1.8% of total retail sales of foods and beverages. At this stage, local foods are not anywhere close to matching organic foods' sales, consumer acceptance, and farm acreage, with potential growth hampered by short growing seasons throughout much of the country.

Scope and Methodology

Packaged Facts' first edition report, Shopping for Local Foods in the U.S., thoroughly examines trends and opportunities in the local foods market, covering all types of retail outlets, farmers' markets, foodservice providers, marketers all types of business models, the role of food hubs, reasons to buy local foods, and government support for local foods programs. Utilizing extensive data from a proprietary Packaged Facts National Consumer Survey conducted in November 2014, as well as other published surveys, the report delves deeply into consumer purchasing, examining what motivates consumers to buy local foods, where they're buying them, and what they're buying and growing themselves.

The report profiles almost two dozen participants active in the local foods market, including marketers such as Gotham Greens' rooftop greenhouse operations; bricks-and-mortar retailers ranging from Bi-Lo supermarkets, Fairway Market, and The Kroger Co. to Meijer, Walmart, and Whole Foods Market; online grocery services like FreshDirect and Good Eggs; farmers' markets and CSAs; and foodservice providers like Bon Appetit Management Co. and Chipotle Mexican Grill.

In addition to the Packaged Facts consumer survey, primary research includes on-site examinations of retail and foodservice channels. Secondary research involved evaluating and comparing data from more than 200 articles and reports found in industry publications; scrutinizing the websites of individual participants in the local foods market; reports by industry associations such as the National Restaurant Association; government data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; annual reports, 10Ks, transcripts of earnings calls, and other financial releases from public companies; and other Packaged Facts reports.

Table Of Contents

Shopping for Local Foods in the U.S.
Chapter 1 Executive Summary
Overview
The Roots of the Local Foods Movement
Local as a Marketing Strategy
It's Hard to be a Locavore
How Local is "Local�?
Figure 1-1: Consumer Definition of "Local� Foods
Is "Locally Grown� the Next "Organic�?
Packaged Facts: Local Foods Will Not Overtake Organics
Sales of Local Foods Will Near $20.2 Billion by 2019
USDA Boosts Spending to Support Local Foods
The Consumer
Packaged Facts Survey: Consumer Attitudes Toward Local Foods
Purchasing Frequency of Local Foods
Most Popular Channels for Buying Local Foods
Reasons for Buying Local Foods
Marketers, Retail Channels and Foodservice
Few Major Marketers Tout Local Products
Greenhouse Operations
Supermarkets, Natural Foods Stores, and Mass Merchandisers
Retailer Snapshots
Bi-Lo Holdings
Fairway Market
The Kroger Co.
Meijer, Inc.
Walmart U.S.
Online Shopping Services
FreshDirect
Good Eggs, a High-Tech Online Farmers Market
Farmer's Markets Count Up 35% Since 2010; Nears 8,300
Community Supported Agriculture Programs (CSAs)
Chapter 2 Overview
The Roots of the Local Foods Movement
Local as a Marketing Strategy
Slow Food
It's Hard to be a Locavore
How Local is "Local�?
Figure 2-1: Consumer Definition of "Local� Foods
The "Food Miles� Concept
Direct-to-Consumer Sales Just $1.3 Billion in 2012
Table 2-1: U.S. Agricultural Sales and Direct-to-Consumer Sales, 2012 vs. 2007 and 2002 (in millions of dollars)
Is "Locally Grown� the Next "Organic�?
Packaged Facts: Local Foods Will Not Overtake Organics
Figure 2-2: U.S. Organic Food Sales by Category, 2005-2014
Sales of Local Foods Will Near $20.2 Billion by 2019
Table 2-2: U.S. Retail Sales of Local Foods and Beverages, 2011-2019 (in billions of dollars)
A Broad Spectrum of Distribution Channels
Reasons to Buy Local Foods
Food Hubs
USDA Boosts Spending to Support Local Foods
Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire the Most Locavore States
Illustration 2-2: The 2014 Locavore Index from Strolling of the Heifers
States Lend Marketing Support to Local Foods Movement
Illustration 2-3: October 2014 promotion for California Grown
Illustration 2-4: Jersey Fresh Bus Wrap
Cities Also Starting Local Food Initiatives
Chapter 3 The Consumer
Packaged Facts Survey: Consumer Attitudes Toward Local Foods
Table 3-1: Consumer Attitudes Toward Local Foods, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Purchasing Frequency of Local Foods
Figure 3-1: Frequency of Consciously Purchasing Locally Grown or Locally Produced Foods, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Frequency of Purchasing Local Foods by Age
Figure 3-2: Frequency of Consciously Purchasing Locally Grown or Locally Produced Foods, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Most Commonly Purchased Local Foods
Figure 3-3: Types of Locally Grown or Locally Produced Foods Purchased, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Most Popular Channels for Buying Local Foods
Figure 3-4: Where Shoppers Buy Locally Grown or Locally Produced Foods, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Reasons for Buying Local Foods
Figure 3-5: Primary Reasons for Purchasing Locally Grown or Locally Produced Foods, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Reasons for Not Buying More Local Foods
Figure 3-6: Primary Reasons for Not Purchasing More Locally Grown or Locally Produced Foods, 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
31% of Consumers Grow, Raise, or Catch Some of Their Own Foods
Figure 3-7: Do You Grow, Raise, or Catch Any of Your Own Foods? 2014 (Percent of U.S. adults)
Vegetables the Most Popular Food to Grow
Figure 3-8: Types of Foods Consumers Grow, Raise, or Catch, 2014(Based on Consumers who Grow, Raise, or Catch their Own Foods)
A.T. Kearny Survey
The Hartman Group Surveys
NGA-SupermarketGuru Survey
Tidbits from Other Surveys
Chapter 4 Marketers, Retail Channels, and Foodservice
Few Major Marketers Tout Local Products
Greenhouse Operations
Illustration 4-1: A living salad from Radical Farm Co.
Illustration 4-2: At SumoSalad, diners can nibble greens they pick from the wall
Other Category Trends for 2015
Local and Regional Grains
Oyster Bays
Illustration 4-3: MOM's Organic Market has begun its own oyster farm
Supermarkets, Natural Foods Stores, and Mass Merchandisers
How to Merchandise Local Foods for Effect
Retailer Snapshots:
Bashas' Supermarket
Bi-Lo Holdings
Fairway Market
Illustration 4-4: Fairway Market's June 2014 flyer promote local products
Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, Inc.
Hart's Local Grocers
The Kroger Co.
Lowes Foods
Meijer, Inc.
Illustration 4-5: Meijer's Seasonal Growing Chart
Safeway, Inc.
Illustration 4-6: A display of local packaged foods in a Safeway store in Hawaii
Walmart U.S.
Whole Foods Market
Illustration 4-7: A video clip promoting Whole Foods' Local Producer
Loans
Online Shopping Services
FreshDirect
Good Eggs, a High-Tech Online Farmers Market
Overstock.com Launches Farmers Market Department
Relay Foods
Even Fresher than Local
Illustration 4-8: Fresh and Easy's Super Fresh stickers promise 48 hours from farm to store
Farmer's Markets Count Up 35% Since 2010; Nears 8,300
Figure 4-1: Growth in Number of Farmers' Markets, 1994-2014
Two Types of Farmers' Markets
Community Supported Agriculture Programs (CSAs)
Local Foods from Vending Machines?
Illustration 4-9: Farmer's Fridge Vending Kiosk Design
Restaurants and Foodservice Providers
Bon Appetit Management Co.
Illustration 4-10: Every Bon Appetit cafe has a Farm to Fork chalkboard listing its local suppliers
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Airport Foodservice Goes Local

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