The Local Loyalty Project: Can Positioning a Regional Grocery Chain as a Purveyor of Local Foods Increase Customer Loyalty and Local Foods Sales?
Molly De Marco, PhD MPH, Beth Hopping, & Kemp Watson-Ormond / Fall 2014
In 2014 a team of researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill began work with NCGT’s grocery retail partner to test the impact of different store messaging around “local foods” on consumer loyalty and shopping behaviors. From their baseline surveys at the 3 control and 3 test stores, the team identified the following: 85% of respondents agreed that the target grocery store supports local farmers and food producers; 70% agreed that shopping at the target grocery store directly impacts their community’s local economy; 67% agreed that shopping at the target grocery store supports farmers in their community; 63% agreed that the store is an important part of their community; 61% agreed the store connects community members with local farmers and food producers; and 60% agreed that the target grocery store makes local food a priority. Subsequent in-store messaging is being conducted in test stores and then shopper perceptions will be re-evaluated.