“Heirloom” food was purchased by 19% of consumers in the past month, while 54% said they have never purchased the category, according to the research. Meanwhile, 23% of consumers said they pay more for heirloom/heritage food, while 25% of retail and foodservice operators said they would pay more for heirloom variety food. Research showed that 29% of consumers under 35 embraced heirloom varieties, compared with 10% of consumers over 55.
Limited availability may be one reason consumers aren’t buying more food with sustainable attributes, according to the survey. Just over half of retail and foodservice operators polled said they offered locally sourced food, compared with 25% who carry organic and just 18% who offered heirloom/heritage products.
Video highlights of the research can be accessed online.