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Title:Urban and Suburban Farmers Markets in Illinois: A Comparative Analysis of Consumer Segmentation Using Demographics, Preferences, and Behaviors
Author(s):Elepu, Gabriel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Mazzocco, Michael A.
Department / Program:Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Discipline:Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Business Administration, Marketing
Abstract:Targeted marketing has become a common strategy in retail businesses. Previous consumer surveys conducted in farmers markets have revealed that consumers behave differently depending on their preferences and demographic characteristics. This study hypothesizes that consumer segments with homogenous preferences exist in farmers markets and consumers within each segment have similar demographic and behavioral characteristics. The motivation of this study is to provide insights into consumer segments existing in farmers markets for the benefit of market organizers and farmer vendors. Four specific objectives were formulated: (1) to compare demographics, preferences, behaviors, and needs of consumers across different farmers markets; (2) to identify preference-based consumer segments existing in farmers markets; (3) to determine differences in demographic and behavioral characteristics across consumer segments; and (4) to interpret consumer segment characteristics for the benefit of market managers and farmer vendors. Six markets were selected for the study. The survey was conducted in October, 2004. A standardized questionnaire was used to collect data from shoppers intercepted at the study markets. In total, 508 questionnaires were completed, of which 444 were usable. This study employed the multi-step cluster analysis method. Five segments of consumers emerged based on their preferences for market attributes. They include: Market Enthusiasts, Recreational Shoppers, Serious Shoppers, Low-involved Shoppers, and Basic Shoppers. Although proportions of consumer segments were not significantly different between urban and suburban markets, they varied by market. This was attributed to differences in location, day of operation, occasion, and organization of the market. Generally, Serious Shoppers and Market Enthusiasts were more frequent shoppers than other segments. Serious Shoppers spent less time per trip at the market than other segments. In contrast, Recreational Shoppers were less frequent but spent more time per trip at the market than other consumer segments. Except for Recreational Shoppers, other consumer segments tended to be older, more educated, and had higher incomes. All consumer segments were predominantly female except Low-involved Shoppers. Therefore, managers need to examine the demographics of their nearby communities before designing any targeted strategies. Lastly, further research should investigate consumer segments existing in rural and small city farmers markets.
Issue Date:2005
Description:167 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2005.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3198984
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2005

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