Consumer Attitudes and Behaviors Regarding Ethnic Produce at Farmers’ Markets
Background and Objective: Past research indicates that exposure to ethnic produce may be positively associated with fruit and vegetable consumption and negatively associated with fast food consumption. The objective of this research was to examine attitudes and behaviors regarding ethnic produce among farmers’ market consumers in rural northern California. Methods: A total of 502 farmers’ market attendees completed a survey, which examined the demographic characteristics of the consumers, their attitudes toward ethnic produce at farmers’ markets, and their familiarity and preferences for a variety of food products and cuisines. Results: Most participants had positive attitudes toward products presented on the survey. However, less than half of the study participants recognized at least 11 of the 22 ethnic produce items available at area farmers' markets. Ethnic minorities, females, and older participants were more likely to have tried ethnic produce items. Women had more positive attitudes toward ethnic produce. Conclusion: These findings indicate the importance of identifying strategies tailored to specific groups of people to promote the consumption of ethnic fruits and vegetables, which may be associated with lower rates of obesity and diet-related chronic diseases.