market demographics

Jill Taylor Bussiere jdt at
Fri Jun 30 06:08:05 EDT 2000

I would agree with you, Del, about each area having its own demographics.

Your best bet would be to find a tool that would help you determine what
yours are.  If you have a county extension agent, and he/she is a good one,
you might get some help there.  A survey is another route you could go - at
least with the locals,  but costs some money.

Our area is full of grow-your-own gardens, our county is high in elderly,
and we also have a stream of tourists traveling through to get to the county
north of us who sometimes stop at our market.  We also have some middle-aged
professionals/business owners that buy.  All are very different groups of
people.  We need them all to make our market go, I believe.

----- Original Message -----
From: delannw <delannw at>
To: market farming <market-farming at>
Sent: Friday, June 30, 2000 4:58 AM
Subject: Re: market demographics

> While there are probably studies out there, be careful about using market
> demographics for a location that is not similar to your own.  If I were
> selling in downtown Chicago, wouldn't that demographic be somewhat
> than the demographic for the smaller towns?
> I sell in a small city, in the downtown area.  The city, Kankakee, is
> situated closely to two other towns...Bradley and Bourbonnais. Each town
> a bit different but they are so close geographically...they practically
> into eachother at the edges.
> For what it is worth, I notice that at our Saturday morning market (7AM -
> 1PM) the customers differ as the morning progresses.  At 7AM, the
> are 60 - 80 years old...waiting already at 6:30AM.  By 9AM the customers
> a bit younger...40's, 50's, and by  10AM we start seeing families with
> children.  By 11AM the 20's and 30's start showing up.
> Between 12 - 1 there just aren't that many customers.
> I would also guess that we have only slightly more women shopping than men
> in all age groups except the oldest...where you would expect to see more
> women anyway.
> Funny thing is, I am able to sell produce and herbs at a fair price in the
> Kankakee area...where there are six or more large grocery stores and three
> or four large market stands to compete against.  As it turns out, though,
> sell 10 times as much in Kankakee (at fair market price) than I did
> 30 miles south in a town with only two grocery stores and one farm stand.
> Why?  Because 30 miles south most people grow their own...and they still
> think a bushel of tomatoes is worth about $8.
> I point that out, because basic demographics may be less important than
> characteristics of the area.
> One of these days, I'm going to get a battery powered cash register
> of this stupid calculator with a tape that I currently have.  I think it
> would be interesting to know what the average customer spends at my stand
> and what THEIR demographics are.
> Del Williams
> Farmer in the Del
> Clifton IL
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