‘Locally Grown’ Label Changes Consumer Perceptions

Researchers from Cornell University found that consumer perception of produce was influenced by having a label that identified it as locally grown. In a blind taste test of broccoli, consumers rated California broccoli higher than local broccoli on taste and appearance. However, when the produce was labeled as locally grown, consumers ranked its flavor higher and indicated their willingness to pay more for it. The study results could have implications for efforts to develop an East Coast broccoli industry using varieties with an appearance different from the standard California broccoli. Researchers say the study results could also influence efforts to market other local produce.