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Economics. Local Foods Marketing Dr. Tim Woods University of Kentucky. Economics. Local Foods Marketing. Knowing the markets Product development Branding, differentiation, competition Taking advantage of support programs, agencies, and training. Marketing Channels for Local Food.

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local foods marketing


Local Foods Marketing
  • Knowing the markets
  • Product development
  • Branding, differentiation, competition
  • Taking advantage of support programs, agencies, and training
marketing channels for local food
Marketing Channels for Local Food

Direct Market Venues

  • Community Farm Markets
  • On-Farm Retail Markets
  • CSAs
  • Local Wineries
marketing channels for local food1
Marketing Channels for Local Food

Direct to Retailer and Wholesale

Market Venues

  • Restaurants
  • Grocers
  • Auctions
  • Institutional buyers
  • Farm to School

Number of U.S. farmers markets up dramatically since mid-1990s


  • From 1,755 in 1994 to 8,144 by 2013
  • More than 5,000 new farmers markets since 2000, an increase of 175%
  • 2,500+ vendors in KY

U.S. Farmers Market Growth: 1994-2013

Source: Diamond, USDA-AMS 2011; USDA AMS



Kentucky Produce Marketing Channels:

Farms Selling More Than 10% into One Channel

(2003 and 2012)

Source: Kentucky Produce Marketing and Planting Intentions Survey, 2004, 2012

local food as an experience good
Local food as an experience good
  • Distinctive value propositions are highly relational
why consumers value local
Why Consumers Value “Local”
  • Minimizing food miles/energy dependency
  • Land and environment
  • Perceived Safety and Quality
  • Support local ag and economy
    • Thilmany, Bond, Bond (2008)
  • Heritage
  • Quality/Health benefits
  • Environment and Economy
  • Citizenship and community
    • Woods & Williamson (2013)

Social media a strong tool to convey these value propositions

3 c s of farm to school
3 C’s of Farm to School
  • Community
    • Engage the community
  • Cafeteria
    • Use the cafeteria to promote local foods and farms
  • Classroom
    • Implementing a Farm to School curriculum and learning experiences
3 c s of farm to school1
3 C’s of Farm to School

“We did a taste testing with heirloom tomatoes and the farmer actually came and was passing out the tomatoes, and we said this is the farmer…. The kids were just like ‘Oh wow, a real life farmer!’ It was just really exciting.”

-Fayette County FSD

getting to know the markets
Getting to know the markets
  • Directories
    • Farm to school (KDA)
    • Farm markets (KDA)
    • On-farm retail markets (KFB Roadside Markets)
    • CSAs (KDA)
    • Restaurants (KDA- Restaurant Reward Program)
    • Auctions (UK Crop Diversification Center)
    • Wholesalers and Processors (KDA, UK MarketReady, KCARD, UK Specialists)
    • Grocery Buyers (KDA, UK MarketReady)
getting to know the markets1
Getting to know the markets
  • Visit the markets, talk to buyers
  • Talk to peer producers selling either similar products or into similar markets
  • Evaluate competing products for (1) number, (2) price, (3) similarity
product development
Product Development
  • Value-added products
  • Packaging, logos, branding expectations from buyers
university of kentucky food systems innovation center
University of Kentucky Food Systems Innovation Center
  • Provides technical services, marketing intelligence, business services and training components to aid in developing the food industry of Kentucky
    • Food Chemistry Testing
    • Nutrition Labeling
    • Analytical Services
    • Microbiological Testing
    • Sensory Evaluations
  • Brand New!
    • www.uky.edu/fsic/
marketready modules
MarketReady Modules
  • Communication & Relationship Building
  • Packaging
  • Labeling
  • Pricing
  • Supply
  • Delivery
  • Storage
  • Invoicing
  • Insurance
  • Quality Assurance & Temperature Control
  • Certifications & Audits
  • Satisfaction Guarantee
  • Working Cooperatively
  • Marketing – An ongoing process
  • Local Products for Local Markets
branding differentiation competition
Branding, Differentiation, Competition
  • Building the “local” brand – consumer awareness
  • KY Proud programs
    • Membership – at cost POP materials, signage
    • POP Grant program
    • Restaurant Rewards
  • Farm Estate Branding
support programs and agencies for local food in kentucky
Support Programs and Agencies for Local Food in Kentucky
  • MarketReady, Better Process Control School, FSIC
  • UK Crop Diversification Center
  • KDA Farm Market Program, KY State Health Dept
  • KY Farm Bureau Certified Roadside Market Program
  • Network of Certified Kitchens (KSU/UK/FSIC)
  • KY Center for Ag and Rural Development


Dr. Tim A. Woods

Extension Professor, University of Kentucky Agricultural Economics

tim.woods@uky.edu, 859.257.7270 x.274