Home Volume 3, Issue 3 Toward an Informative and Applied Methodology for Price Comparison Studies of Farmers’ Markets and Competing Retailers at the Local Scale


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Toward an Informative and Applied Methodology for Price Comparison Studies of Farmers' Markets and Competing Retailers at the Local Scale

by Joshua Long,a * M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine,b Katherine Castles,c Jillian Curran,c Harrison Glaser,c Ellen Hoyer,c Whitney Moore,c Lisa Morse,c Molly O'Hara,c and Ben Parafina c

http://dx.doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.033.010, pp. 95–119

Published online June 21, 2013



Qualitative research on food pricing in regional markets is currently underrepresented in the scholarly literature. The methods used in existing peer-reviewed studies tend to obscure important qualitative differences in the food items they compare and the retail spaces they source. Recently, some non–peer reviewed price comparison studies have emerged that point to some of the complications of earlier studies and offer alternative methods for data collection and comparison. Building upon the contributions of these latter works, this study attempts to improve upon previous studies and provide a set of methods that contribute thoughtfully to future studies. The main goal of this study is to advance research that would better inform consumers and the producers who serve them. The key contribution of this study is a new model for future price comparison studies that accurately provides accessible and practical information for farmers' market producers and consumers.


Keywords: consumer attitudes, farmers' markets, local food, price comparison studies, price premiums



a * Corresponding author: Joshua Long, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Southwestern University, 1001 East University Drive, Georgetown, Texas 78626 USA; +1-512-863-1493; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


b M. Anwar Sounny-Slitine, Program Coordinator, Southwestern University Environmental Studies Program.


c Members of the 2012 Senior Environmental Studies Capstone course.



Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.


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