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'Local Hero' Campaign Scores Big With Consumers

Massachusetts 'Buy locally grown' campaign slogan peaked consumer awareness.

A few years ago, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, a non-profit in South Deerfield, Mass., began a campaign to urge consumers to buy locally grown food. The campaign included bumper stickers with the slogan "Be a local hero, buy locally grown".

An independent marketing study done last summer found that 82% of residents in a two county test area recognized the campaign. Some 65% of respondents reported that Local Hero advertising had influenced them to buy locally grown food. But there's more:

70% of those who had seen ads buy locally grown foods every week compared to 30% of those who had not seen the ads.

Those who had seen ads shop at roadside stands 16 times a year on average compared to 9 times a year for those who have not seen ads.

The research was done in June when I'd have expected lower results," reports Mark Lattanzi, campaign director. "June is when we are farthest away from the last Local Hero ads, which ended in October."

Bumper sticker awareness

Part of the campaign involved a bright yellow 'Local Hero' bumper sticker. In the survey, bumper stickers were the most recalled aspect of the promotion. "Some 78% of consumers recalled them," says Lattanzi.

The research found that it essential to make sure consumers see the Local Hero brand wherever locally grown foods are sold. "If consumers see the brand, more of them will buy the locally grown food," he adds. "The best way for local farmers, grocery stores and restaurants to increase their sales of locally grown foods is to use the Local Hero stickers and price cards that we provide our members."

Enrollment now open for 2007

CISA's Local Hero program is entering its 9th season in 2007 – and the Local Hero brand continues to offer farmers, grocers, chefs and others the opportunity to use this popular and respected brand.

Local Hero membership is available to farms, farmers markets, restaurants, grocery stores, institutions and schools and other local businesses that buy or sell locally grown farm products. Members are welcome from Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden counties as well as eastern Berkshire and western Worcester Counties in western Massachusetts.

To receive an enrollment packet, call the CISA office at (413) 665-7100 and ask for Jennifer. Applications must be postmarked by January 31 to receive an early bird discount.

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