A majority of US adults claim to buy local at least half the time (59%) they shop for products, and one-quarter say they buy local most or all of the time, according to an AYTM survey of 1,000 US respondents. Perceived quality of goods was the top reason for choosing to shop local (70%), followed by convenience (51%) and economic impact (50%). Of note, economic impact seems to be of greater importance than environmental impact.
Meanwhile, a similar proportion of people purchased food that was grown or prepared with local ingredients at least half the time (60%), citing quality (76%) again as their primary motivation for buying local. Economic impact (52%) and convenience (46%) appear to be secondary motivations again, though they were cited by close to half of local food buyers.
According to the survey, far fewer adults are concerned about where the ingredients in the drinks they purchased came from, with most saying that they rarely or never buy drinks made with local ingredients (63%). The relatively small group of adults (22%) buying drinks with locally sourced ingredients again specified quality (62%), convenience and economic impact (37% each) as their reasons for doing so.
As such, the perception of quality is the biggest driver of people seeking locally sourced ingredients, whether it is food or drinks. Indeed, 69% believe that buying local gives them access to more quality products. Convenience and economic impact are also consistently important factors, with economic impact counting a bit more when it comes to food. And while the vast majority of respondents agree that buying local can help the economy (84%), far fewer said they are willing to pay a bit more for it (60%). Still, recent research recent shows growing demand for premium products, particularly in food and beverage, suggesting that tying the quality of local products to premium goods could influence decisions.
About the Data: The results are based on an AYTM survey of 1,000 US adults in March 2017.