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Ohio Organic and Local Food Consumers. Molly Bean Smith 2006 OH Fruit & Vegetable Congress January 16, 2006 Columbus, OH. Contact Information. Molly Bean Smith, Research Associate 254 Agricultural Administration Bldg. 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43202 E-mail: bean.21@osu.edu

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ohio organic and local food consumers

Ohio Organic and Local Food Consumers

Molly Bean Smith

2006 OH Fruit & Vegetable Congress

January 16, 2006

Columbus, OH

contact information
Contact Information
  • Molly Bean Smith, Research Associate
    • 254 Agricultural Administration Bldg.
    • 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43202
    • E-mail: bean.21@osu.edu
    • Telephone: 614-688-8798
    • Website: www.sri.osu.edu
why understand consumption patterns
Why understand consumption patterns?
  • Adoption of innovations/alternatives requires it
  • Consumption patterns have the ability to shape the food system
    • Changing demand affects the success/failure of products, sectors, and firms
      • Organics are a beneficiary – USDA reports that the organic and specialty crop market is growing by 20% each year
      • Farmer’s markets and CSA is growing
how do consumers make food purchasing decisions
How do consumers make food purchasing decisions?
  • Psychological factors, personal preferences & sensory attributes (like taste)
  • Expediency factors, such as price, access and convenience
  • Lifestyle Factors, e.g Health and food safety, environment, animal welfare, local community, Equity and justice (for example, Fair Trade products)
research context organic industrialization local
Research Context: Organic Industrialization & Local
  • Growth in organic market has led to some “industrialization” of organic production
    • Large scale production, large-scale processing
    • Cascadian Farms, store brand organic, etc.
  • “Industrialization” challenges the traditional link between organic and local production
    • Emerging question: How do local producers, particularly organic producers, adapt to market with lower cost industrial organic products?
goal of the presentation
Goal of The Presentation
  • Profile characteristics of consumers with varying levels of interest in the local and organic attributes
  • Information may be helpful for marketing purposes
      • Improve our ability to describe this emerging market and the consumers within it
      • Identify new opportunities for growing the alternative food system
data sources
Data Sources
  • OH Survey of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Issues
    • Biennial Mail Survey of Rural & Urban Ohioans
    • Funded by College of FAES, OSU Extension, OARDC, variety of faculty and external partners
    • Response rate ~56+ percent (N>1,800)
typology background
Typology Background
  • Two dimensional typology based on level of importance attributed to foods being locally grown or produced and labeled organic (1=not important; 7=very important)
  • Potential benefits of typologies:
    • Patterns and characteristics of patterns
    • Better understanding of what drives certain consumption patterns
    • Assist growers and retailers in understanding and developing their market
    • May help to increase the consumption or purchasing of particular foods
    • Assist in development of alternatives
labeling consumer types
Labeling Consumer Types
  • Disinclined (19.2%)—rate both local and organic as not important factors when making food purchases
  • Locally inclined (20.2%)—rate local as important, but not organic
  • Organically inclined (5.6%)—rate organic as important, but not local
  • Moderately inclined (35.7%)—rate organic and local as somewhat important considerations
  • Dual inclined (19.3%)—rate organic and local both as very important factors

Importance of intrinsic and expediency food considerations by type (1 to 7)

*F-test significant at .05 level

observations on the typology
Observations on the Typology
  • Organic group
    • Relatively high food safety concerns
    • Less strong affinity/trust/ties for farmers/farming
  • Local group
    • Many attributes consistent with what might be expected
    • Strong ties to farming
observations cont
Observations (cont.)
  • Disinclined
    • Many attributes consistent with what might be expected
  • Moderately inclined
    • Many attributes middling between disinclined, organic, and local
    • Potential target audience to introduce to alternative food systems – note this group may need more convincing of the benefits
observations cont20
Observations (cont.)
  • Dual Inclined
    • Food safety is an important consideration
    • Health consciousness high
    • Very supportive of Ohio Ag./Farmers
    • Not everything we expected: Contrary to class expectations – tend to be older, less educated and report lower income
    • Self-reported behavioral cross-checks validate this as most motivated alternative food system type
      • Alternative possibility, confusion about the meaning of organic
final thoughts
Final Thoughts
  • This is a complex issue requiring addt’l analysis to assess the strength of relationships
  • Local only has a constituency out there
  • Organic has a following, albeit a smaller one
  • There are consumers interested in both attributes, but further examination of this group is warranted – for example, what takes precedence for this group – support for farming or food safety concerns?
  • Opportunity to expand market by reaching out to moderately inclined
next steps in the program
Next steps in the Program
  • Continued refinement of the typology and analysis of motivated consumer survey
  • Current through early 2006 – series of focus groups gauging interest in local/organic foods with different socio-economic groups
questions see following websites http ohiosurvey osu edu http sri osu edu

Questions?See following websites:http://Ohiosurvey.osu.eduhttp://SRI.osu.edu