Thursday, April 2, 2009

2008 Farmer's Market Economic Impact Study

I had an opportunity to attend the annual vendor's meeting for Frederick Farmer's Markets this Monday. The vendors for West Frederick Farmer's Market and Everedy Square & Shab Farmers Market were there to review the past season and plan for the new season. It was really nice to see all the familiar faces that I haven't seen for months (well, except for our meat man, Danny and a couple of friends from Cakes for Cause)! At the meeting, there was a very thorough presentation by Colby Ferguson, a Business Development Specialist for Agriculture working for the Office of Economic Development (OED), Frederick County Government. Some of you might remember the Farmer's Market Survey that I posted about. The results of 2008 Farmer's market survey have been thoroughly analyzed by Sandy Wagerman and Colby Ferguson, and put into a nice report. Some of the fascinating facts from the his presentation (and the report) are
  • An estimated 37,420 visitors shop at Frederick County Farmers’ Markets (total of 9 markets in Frederick County) annually spending on average of $18.78 per visit. Of those shoppers, 30% spend an average of an additional $17.75 at nearby businesses.
  • An estimated 16,500 visitors shop at West Frederick Farmer's Market at Baughman's Lane annually spending on average of $37.59 per visit. Of those shoppers, 64% spend on average of an additional $43.97 at nearby business.
  • When you consider above estimates, this analysis comes as no surprise but still profound: When they calculated multi-market economic impact, the West Frederick (Baughman’s Lane) Farmers’ Market represented 74% ($2,018,710.55) of the total economic impact of all Frederick County markets ($2,729,992.37).
  • Top 5 most popular products consumers bought or were there to buy were: Vegetables (76.25%), Fruit (65.19%), Baked Goods (26.56%), Meat (12.5%), Dairy (10.56%). West Frederick Farmer's Market offers all the five products.
  • The majority of shoppers surveyed in person were female (70%) and age groups were pretty evenly spread at 55% being under 50 and 45% over 55. Survey respondents from the online survey were 77% female and 83% were under 55.
Frederick County 2008 Farmer's Market Economic Impact Study (pdf), the new 2009 Farm guide (5.2 mb pdf), and other resources are available at the Agriculture page of OED website.

And yes, as Elin put it so enthusiastically in Cakes for Cause email below, now we have a date for the first farmer's market. Please mark your calendar for May 2nd!!! It's going to be an even better farmer's market at Baughman's Lane this year with fun events! Please stay tuned!

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