Farmer's Market Demographics

Goals

To identify the age and family demographics of farmers market shoppers in Colorado. If data for Colorado isn't available, the geographic scope can be expanded to provide data about farmers market shoppers in any Western state. Ideally, the research should include the most credible information possible.

Early Findings

Downtown Boulder Farmer's Market

  • A survey of visitors to downtown Boulder, Colorado found that 60% of respondents had visited the farmer's market within the previous year.
  • The survey found that the average visitor to downtown Boulder is 39.9 years old and 40% are single with no children, 23% have children in their household, 20% are empty nesters, and 16% are couples with no children.
  • The majority of respondents were found to be in the 25-35 age group (21%), following by the 21-24 age group (16%), and the 34-44 age group (15%). Meanwhile, the 45-54 age group had 13%; the 55-64 age group had 13%, the 20 and younger age group had 11%, the 65-74 age group had 8%, and the 75+ age group had 2%.
  • This survey data was published in January 2019 by the Downtown Boulder Partnership.

Literary Review of Farmer's Market Shopper Characteristics, published by Montana State University

  • "A majority of studies included in this review concluded that the average farmer's market shopper was over 40 years of age."
  • This study consisted of a general literary review of published academic papers on the topic of farmer's market demographics between 2000 and 2010 and does not appear to be isolated to Western-state farmer's market shoppers exclusively.

Data from the Washington State University Small Farms Program

  • According to data from WSU, the core farmer's market demographic consists of a mix of ages: Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers.
  • These shoppers tend to have more than one adult within their shopping groups.

California Farmer's Market Study

  • A study conducted between 2004 and 2005 found that farmer's market visitors in California were mostly between the ages of 25 and 44 (36%), followed by 45-54 (22%), and 60+ (18%), while the 20-24 age group accounted for 14%, the 55-59 age group accounted for 8%, and the under 20 age group accounted for 2%.
  • This study also founded that visitors to the farmer's market were mostly married (52%) or single (28%).
  • This study was conducted by the Department of Agriculture at the California Polytechnic State University.

Proposed next steps:

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As the initial research was able to uncover a handful of insights pertaining to the age and family demographics of visitors to farmer's markets in Colorado and other Western States, we propose conducting additional research to continue digging. In doing so, our team will provide a list of resources that discusses the age and/or family breakdowns of visitors to farmer's markets. This research will focus specifically on farmer's markets in Colorado, however, as this information appears to be limited, our team will expand the scope to other Western states as needed if we are unable to complete the research with a wholly Colorado focus. For each resource we locate, we will provide the name of the resource (including its relevance to Colorado and/or other Western states), the data from the resource that shows the age and/or family breakdown of visitors, and a brief statement about the publisher of the data which helps to highlight their credibility (e.g. the name of the university, government organization etc. that funded the study or something similar). Our team will attempt to add as many resources as possible within the allotted research time and depending on the availability of this information, however, we will aim to provide at least five additional resources. Additionally, our team will aim to provide resources published within the past 10 years, however, due to the overall limited amount of publicly available information on this topic, we may need to expand to include research up to 20 years old.
Alternatively, we can conduct research to explore generational sentiments toward's farmer's markets. In doing so, we can explore the sentiments of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers. For each generation, we can provide insights related to their opinions and behaviors related to visiting farmer's markets. These findings could potentially include things such as what percentage report visiting farmer's markets, how often they visit, whether they visit the farmer's market with family members and which ones, whether they find the farmer's market experience appealing, etc. This research will focus on the United States as a whole, but we can prioritize any insight specific to Colorado or other Western states as available. It's likely this nuanced information will be difficult to find without looking from the broader, national perspective.