At the close of the 2012 season, we issued a survey to our patrons in hopes of understanding the value of the Market to the community, what we’ve done right and how we can improve. We also interviewed our vendors to learn a little about how they measure their success and what they think their customers value and want from the Market.
The survey results were encouraging and informative for the Market as we plan for the 2013 season.
Here’s what we learned from our shoppers:
- 95% said that it was very important to them that products at the Market are locally produced.
- More than 85% said that the Onancock Market was their primary reason for going into downtown Onancock on Saturday mornings, but 63% said they also do additional shopping or eating in town once they’re there.
- Over 80% said they visit the Market more than once each month.
- On average, 38% of respondents said that they typically spend $20-$40 per visit to the Market, while an additional 20% say they spend $40-$60 per visit. This is great for the Eastern Shore economy!
A 2010 study by USDA’s Economic Research Service compares producers selling food products locally with producers of the same products selling to mainstream supply chains. “In all five cases, nearly all of the wage and proprietor income earned in the local market chains is retained in the local economy”.
Moreover, a series of case studies by Civic Economics shows that for every dollar we spend at a large chain, about 15 cents stays in the area, while locally owned enterprises like farms trap 30 to 45 cents.
- Of the products regularly available at the Onancock Market, over half of the customers responding said they typically buy baked goods, shellfish and/or fresh produce. Here’s how their typical purchase break down:
- 40% of vendors who responded said that they measure their success primarily based on having return customers. Here’s the breakdown of how they measured success:
- When vendors were asked why they felt their customers shopped at Farmers Markets, the vendors responded overwhelmingly that their customers placed a priority on local products. This is how they say customers ranked their priorities: