REPORT: Consumer Insights to Support Messaging for Vermont's Direct Markets

This study examines responses from three focus groups and two online surveys of instate and out-of-state food consumers in Vermont to determine the frequency, motivation, and barriers of shopping at direct markets. This examination of the demographic profile of food consumers indicates they are more likely to be female, married, and have completed college. The age levels, income levels, and employment status are similar between direct market shoppers and direct market non-shoppers. We then parsed the data further by each direct market: farmers markets, farm stands, and CSAs.

The objective of the research study was to determine how to increase awareness and purchases for each direct market channel. We analyzed the data and categorized it into three segments based on shopping frequency: true local consumers (TLCs), occasional local consumers (OLCs), and rare local consumers (RLCs). We then broke these down by generation (Millennials [18-34], Gen X [35-54], and Baby Boomers [55+]).

Funding for this report was supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant 16FMPPVT0023. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.