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Is Local Produce Really More Expensive? A Comparison of Direct Market and Conventional Grocery Produce Pricing

Karli Salisbury, Kynda Curtis, Veronica Pozo and Carrie Durward

Journal of Food Distribution Research, 2018, vol. 49, issue 1

Abstract: As fresh produce growers look to expand their markets to include lower-income consumers, they must overcome consumer perceptions that direct markets, such as farmers’ markets, are expensive and elitist. The absence of pricing data makes comparisons very difficult, which perpetuates misconceptions. This study uses fresh produce pricing data collected at farmers’ markets and grocery stores in northern Utah in Summer 2016 to illustrate actual pricing differences across outlets. Results show that, on average, farmers’ markets are more expensive, but location and produce item greatly influence price, especially for organics. Locally owned grocery stores were less expensive than national brands.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety; Food Security and Poverty (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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