Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Woods

Second Advisor

Dr. David Freshwater

Abstract

While farmers’ market vendors rely on loyal and frequent patrons to purchase their products, it is unclear how the intrinsic differences among farmers’ market shoppers serve as indicators of potential shopping frequency at farmers’ markets. The objectives of this thesis are to identify consumers’ intrinsic values associated with characteristics of local foods, examine how these values are reflected in consumption behaviors among farmers' market shoppers, and explore the relationship between consumption activities and shopping frequency at farmers' markets. Results suggest that the differences between frequent and infrequent farmers’ market shoppers could be explained by the individual’s levels of high and low involvement in consumption activities that reflect intrinsic values associated with benefits of locally produced foods. Market patrons who generally exhibit higher levels of involvement in these activities are more likely to be frequent farmers’ market shoppers; this is particularly true for those who are drawn to activities associated with public life or group settings. This information can be used by farmers’ market managers and vendors to develop targeted marketing strategies for retention of frequent market shoppers and also for increasing market patronage for less frequent market shoppers.

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