Not all "local" is created equal, a recent Harris Poll found. In fact, there were significant differences in how shoppers weighed the importance of locally grown foods across the supermarket.
Starting at the top, as this FoodNavigator story points out:
- The produce department - most important when it comes to local. 67% of shoppers said they seek it out.
- Dairy, baked goods and meat - just over half of consumers surveyed said local is important for these foods.
- Deli department - Slightly less than half say local is important.
- Seafood department - just shy of 40% say local is important.
- Frozen food - only 26% see local food as important.
Consumers are also seeking local foods across retail markets, from supermarkets to the more traditional farmer's market. Way fewer people seek out local foods at big box stores.
And why are consumers shopping local? Quality, freshness and taste and to a lesser extent, food safety. Yet the number one reason is to support the local economy.
Still, though, the nutritional makeup of foods trumps the desire for local. Even though roughly half of those surveyed said the desire for local foods influences their shopping behavior, even greater numbers of customers seek out foods that are lower in sugar, fat, sodium and calories.