| Erfurt Laboratory for Empirical Research, SPF Bildung. Schule. Verhalten., Staatswissenschaftliche Fakultät

New study on buying behavior at farmers markets

In a representative longitudinal survey of around 3,400 people from all over Germany, Professor Guido Mehlkop (holder of the Professorship for Quantitative Methods for Empirical Social Research at the University of Erfurt) and Dr. Robert Neumann (Technische Universität Dresden) investigated the reasons why people shop at farmers markets – or not. The two scientists have now published their findings under the title "Revisiting farmers markets – Disentangling preferences and conditions of food purchases on countrywide data from Germany," in the "Food Quality and Preference" journal.

On the one hand, visiting farmers markets can help to reduce one's own ecological footprint as well as support organic diversity and local agriculture and, last but not least, promote a healthy nutrition: Many products offered at farmers markets come from regional producers, who also often practice organic farming and offer seasonal products that require comparatively few resources to produce and transport.

On the other hand, farmers markets often have very limited opening hours and parking facilities, customers are at the mercy of the weather, and the range of products on offer is smaller than in stationary supermarkets.

The results show that the perceived inconvenience of farmers markets discourages people from shopping (more often) at farmers markets. Expectations from friends and family motivate people to visit the farmers market, whereas their own environmental or health awareness have no effects.

The results of this study are in line with other findings by Guido Mehlkop, which show that, especially in everyday situations, many people only behave in an environmentally conscious manner if this behavior does not impose any costs or inconveniences on them.

Neumann, R. & Mehlkop, G. (2023). revisiting farmers markets - Disentangling preferences and conditions of food purchases on countrywide data from Germany. Food Quality and Preference, 106, 104815. doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.104815.

to the article

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