Are Online Shoppers Interested in Learning about Locally Grown Fresh Produce?

  •  Jean Gumirakiza    
  •  Thomas Kingery    
  •  Stephen King    


This study describes online shoppers, explains their interests in learning about market outlets for locally/regionally grown fresh produce, and analyzes their preferences for channels to receive educational information concerning local/regional fresh produce. We used a K-mean clustering algorithm together with binary and ordered Logit models to analyze data collected in 2016 from a stratified randomly selected sample of 1,205 online shoppers within the U.S. South region. We found that the probability for online shoppers to be interested in learning about market outlets for local/regional grown fresh produce is 66 percent. Results also indicate that the likelihood for the word-of-mouth to be at least preferred (preferred, very preferred, and extremely preferred) as channel to receive educational information about local fresh produce is 69 percent. The probabilities for local radio/TV stations, Internet-based, newspapers, and ads on public places to be at least preferred are 61 percent, 48 percent, 57 percent, and 66 percent respectively. Findings from this study are useful for fresh produce growers, agricultural marketers and educators, online shoppers, and further research studies.

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