It’s a hot Midwest summer where I live, so I went by my local farmers market to see what good, local, in-season fruits and vegetables they had.

They indeed had good-looking local produce, but it was considerably more expensive than the same nationally sourced and even locally grown produce at many retail chains in my town.

In fact, some of the growers at the farmers market featured in a local chain’s weekly print circular. And wouldn’t you know it? The prices are a little less at the supermarket than the farmers market.

Retail chains often have the same local in-season product for cheaper.

But do they say it loud enough?

This chain promoted its local grower and local produce brand prominently in its weekly print ads and in store. For consumers who shop both traditional retail and farmers markets, they can see the head-to-head comparison thanks to the retail marketing.

It says in its advertisement “(We’re) your farmers market seven days a week,” and it includes a Good Agricultural Practices logo.

This is the kind of aggressive promotion that will catch a consumer’s attention. And it hits right at the supposed advantage of a farmers market.

My local farmers market is open only two days a week, but as this chain points out, it’s my farmers market seven days a week.

And with better hours and prices.

(This column appears in the August issue of Produce Retailer)

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