ASAP estimates that you, Western North Carolina consumers, purchased $62 million of local food in 2010! The number represents a four-fold increase since our Appalachian Grown™ certification and branding program began in 2007. Our recent consumer survey explains the increase: you understand that local food benefits local communities.
The survey, conducted this spring in the greater-Asheville area (Buncombe, Madison, and Henderson counties) and the state’s six westernmost counties found that a majority (55%) of you reported spending over one-tenth of your food budget on locally grown products. More than 80% of you say you choose local food because those purchases help support local farms and contribute to the local economy.
In addition to farms, businesses benefiting from the increase include grocery stores and eateries in our vibrant and growing independent restaurant scene. Three-quarters of you (77%) deemed local food a somewhat or very important consideration in choosing a grocery store, and roughly 6 in 10 (64%) of you view it as somewhat or very important when choosing a restaurant. Over 55% of you mentioned Ingles as your grocery store of choice for locally grown food.
But how do you define “local?” Almost 40% of you think food is local if grown in Western North Carolina. Roughly one-quarter of you said food is local if it’s grown in your county, and 19% of you define local as within 100 miles of your home.
Wow! That’s all there is to say, except, of course, thanks!
For more information about our regional local food sales calculations and 2011 consumer survey, contact Communications Coordinator Maggie Cramer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (828) 236-1282 ext. 113. Download this press release HERE, and find the complete survey online HERE.