Seventy-eight percent of consumers are willing to pay more for local food, up from 70% in 2014, according to a new study from A.T. Kearney, a global management consulting firm.
No longer limited to produce, meat and seafood, local is becoming an increasingly important attribute for prepared foods and dry groceries, too. Local has increased in importance from 5% in 2014 to 13% in 2015 for canned and jarred products, from 10% to 23% for prepared foods, and from 9% to 18% for bread.
A.T. Kearney surveyed more than 1,500 primary household shoppers for the report.
More consumers agree on the definition of local. Ninety-six per cent describe local food as products grown or produced within 100 miles from point of sale, up from 58% in 2014.
The primary driver of buying local for grocery consumers is a perception of freshness. Lack of access to local food has become less of a barrier; only 27% of consumers said local products are not available. About half of shoppers said they don’t purchase local food because of a lack of clear marketing or in-store signage.