Local Food Producers to Connect More with Customers

BY Rachel Cagle
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The fall season is a time for friends and families to reconnect with one another, usually around a holiday meal where discussions and even friendly debates are part of the occasion. According to a recent survey from Undeniably Dairy, a campaign by the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy, three-​quarters of Americans would be more open to someone's point of view after sharing a meal, reinforcing the idea that most Americans believe in the connecting powers of food.

According to AudienceSCAN, 56.6% of American adults are Local First Shoppers. About 46% are willing to pay more for higher quality on most products and 28.3% are willing to pay more for healthy or organic food. More than half will do their research on products as a result. Within the last 30 days, 51.7% of this audience used a search engine to research a product they were considering for purchase. They probably did so through Google (the preferred search engine of 86.3% of this audience) using either a Windows OS computer (66.4% own one), an iPad (33.3%), an Android tablet (24.5%) an Android mobile smartphone (44%) or an iPhone (40.8%). Only 17.1% of this group will go past the first page of results, though.

The survey also found, seven out of 10 Americans think it's important to know the farmers who produce the food they eat and even more surprisingly, more than half of Americans are interested in moving to a farm.

There has never been an easier time for local farmers, growers, manufacturers, etc. to connect with current and potential customers. For starters, according to AudienceSCAN, Local First Shoppers are active on a number of social networks, including Facebook (80.2%), YouTube (52.7%), Instagram (35.4%) and Twitter (33.5%). About 11% also reads at least one blog post every single day. This group also gets most of their local news through TV (45.2%), newspapers (19.6%), radio (9.4%) and magazines (2.8%). And these are just a few of the ways local food providers can keep customers up-​to-​date with the goings on at their farms or facilities.

"The reality is, while people want to know where their food comes from and are even interested in moving back to the farm, they're still generations removed from what really happens there," said Beth Engelmann, chief marketing communications officer supporting the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. "That's why this fall, through the Undeniably Dairy campaign, we're not only focusing on encouraging consumers to reconnect with their families and friends, but also with the dairy community behind the nutritious and delicious foods people know and love like farmers, processors, chefs and everyone in-​between."

What are the best ways to advertise to Local First Shoppers? Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, 60% of this audience took action after seeing a TV commercial and 47.3% reacted to an email ad they received. Also, 40.4% took action because of either a text ad they received or an ad they saw through their mobile smartphone apps, and 36.4% clicked on text link ads on websites.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.