(TRENTON) – The New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Jersey Fresh Consumer Awareness Study is showing that more people want Jersey Fresh produce when they shop for food. The more than 800 people that responded to the survey indicated a stronger preference for local food than ever before.
The poll showed that 72 percent are more likely to purchase Jersey Fresh labeled products, up from 62 percent last year and an all-time high. Also, 64 percent of the respondents said they are likely to ask for Jersey Fresh if they don’t see it in the store, up 11 percent from last year.
“More consumers are valuing the importance of purchasing locally grown produce than ever before,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “Our farmers consistently harvest the highest quality fruits and vegetables and people recognize that and ask for Jersey Fresh wherever they shop. Locally grown food is good for the consumer and for the farmer.”
People are also seeing the Jersey Fresh brand at higher levels than in previous years. For example, 69 percent reported seeing Jersey Fresh tomatoes this year (up from 59 percent the last year); 54 percent reported seeing Jersey Fresh sweet corn (up from 43 percent last year); and 50 percent reported seeing Jersey Fresh blueberries (up 13 percent from the year prior).
Also, consumers were asked to indicate whether they thought Jersey Fresh products were better than the same products from other states and 79 percent reported that Jersey Fresh tomatoes are better, up from 75 percent the year prior; 76 percent said Jersey Fresh sweet corn is superior, up from 70 percent the year before; and 67 percent said Jersey Fresh blueberries are better, up 8 percent from the previous year.
More people are also keeping up to date by following Jersey Fresh on social media. Nine-percent of those polled already follow Jersey Fresh on social media which means they receive updates and content about Jersey Fresh produce.
New Jersey ranks in the top 10 in the nation in the production of several crops, including peaches, blueberries, cranberries, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, squash, eggplant, asparagus, and apples.
To learn more about Jersey Fresh, go to www.jerseyfresh.nj.gov.
To learn more about the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NJDeptofAgriculture and www.facebook.com/JerseyFreshOfficial or Twitter @NJDA1 and @JerseyFreshNJDA.