Grocers still top farmers markets - The Packer

Grocers still top farmers markets

06/14/2012 03:38:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

Pamela Riemenschneider, Aisle WanderingI’m not convinced retailers need to worry too much about farmers markets taking their business.

A recent survey conducted by Lauer Johnson Research says 71% of consumers still buy the majority of their produce at supermarkets, compared to 14% who said they buy most of their produce from a farmers market.

The study concluded 95% of consumers buy produce at the supermarket.

Well, duh. That 14% even seems a little high when I think about my own trips to farmers markets, and what friends say about their experiences.

For example, one friend posted this to her Facebook page the other day:

“Broadway Farmers Market starts this Wed. When will the downtown market on Saturday begin?? Excited for fresh spring rolls, bubble tea and nutella crepes.”

Nutella crepes? Where are the tomatoes and sweet corn?

This reminded me of my last visit to the farmers market. I went in search of tomatoes and kale and came home with butter and empanadas.

I know there are great farmers markets out there, stacked high with fresh, local produce.

But those aren’t my local farmers market.

My local farmers market is more like a craft and artisan fair with music, face painting and hand-made dog treats.

The one I used to hit up in Kansas City had wholesale produce most of the year, and farmers in the parking lot during the growing season.

For me, farmers markets are about having a fun Saturday morning with my family.

Then I take my grocery dollars to the supermarket on Sunday afternoon.

Another friend I talked to had a rebuttal, however.

She was unsatisfied with her local supermarket and ditched it in favor of a co-op and home produce delivery through Community Supported Agriculture.

“I trust the co-op,” she said.

“The regular store just sells the same produce regardless of the season. It’s pretty lame, and if organic produce is out of season, it’s not good.”

She’s a strong organic consumer, and definitely not a mainstream shopper, but it’s still interesting to get an opinion from someone who has embraced a non-traditional food system.

pamelar@thepacker.com

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Bill Fraiser    
Berkeley, California  |  June, 15, 2012 at 09:44 AM

Where I live, most farmers's market vendors are opportunistic entrepreneurs who are buying the produce from growers and then reselling it. I find that I can buy the exact same produce (I can tell by the crates) from local produce stores for sometimes half the price. These fand I almost never armer's market vendors have become too greedy and I almost never buy from them anymore. It has become a masquerade.

Bill Fraiser    
Berkeley, California  |  June, 15, 2012 at 09:52 AM

What I mean't to say in the last line was - "I almost never buy from these vendors anymore as they have become too greedy. It (the farmer's market) has become a masquerade. (The composition window was difficult to work with)

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