McEachern, Morven; Warnaby, Gary; Carrigan, Marylyn and Szmigin, Isabelle
Thinking locally, acting locally? Conscious consumers and farmers markets.
Journal of Marketing Management, 26(5&6) pp. 395–412.
The emergence of a more reflexive and discerning customer has created inter alia a demand for ‘better’ food (i.e. quality and ‘authenticity’) in terms of sourcing, processing, and specialist distribution/retailing. As a consequence, the food production/distribution industry is under pressure to change many of its practices. One manifestation is the emergence of farmers’ markets and the associated emphasis on ‘local’ food. This paper aims to identify the extent to which ‘conscious’ consumers are committed to buying local foodstuffs and supporting local food producers, especially from farmers’ markets. Given the exploratory nature of this research, a qualitative approach was undertaken using in-depth interviews with ‘conscious’ consumers. The results reveal that ‘conscious’ consumers recognise their own limitations (i.e. time, convenience, and price) but also demonstrate that integrating ethical considerations into their consumption behaviour is a complex and flexible task. A number of strategic actions for farmers’ markets are proposed to help differentiate their provision, particularly in terms of capitalising on perceptions of authenticity and locality.
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||farmers’ markets; conscious consumers; local; flexibility of
||Open University Business School
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