Marketing opportunities and challenges for locally raised meats

An online consumer survey in South Carolina




Consumer Preferences, Marketing, Willingness-to-Pay, Local Meats, Local Foods


South Carolina livestock producers are expanding their operations to include local meat sales, with a sizeable number of farmers entering the market for the first time. Little is known about South Caro­lina’s local meat consumers and their buying pref­er­ences. This study aims to identify the demo­graphic traits of local meat consumers, their pre­ferred local meat product attributes, their desired purchasing locations, and a range of prices con­sumers are willing to pay for local meat. This study surveyed 1,048 South Carolina meat consumers. Of these survey respondents, 741 had consumed local meat products within the last 12 months and 307 had not. Results indicate that local meat consumers tend to be younger, reside in larger households, have higher household incomes, and have greater educational attainment. They also may be more likely to be long-term residents of South Carolina. These consumers are willing to pay a 1% to 24% premium for local meats to be eaten at home and US$1.00 to US$1.99 more per entrée for local meats at a restaurant. The most desirable attributes of local meat are hormone-free, all-natural, no anti­biotics, and grass-fed. The most popular buying locations are the grocery store, directly from farms, farmers markets, butcher shops, and online order­ing. Most consumers are unwilling to drive more than 20 miles (32 km) to purchase local meat. The study also uncovered barriers to consumers’ will­ingness to purchase (or purchase more) local meats: product unavailability, high prices, food safety concerns, convenience, and ease of prepara­tion.


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Author Biographies

Steven T. Richards, Clemson Cooperative Extension

Senior Agribusiness Extension Associate

Michael Vassalos, Clemson University

Associate Professor of Agribusiness, Department of Agricultural Sciences



How to Cite

Richards, S., & Vassalos, M. (2023). Marketing opportunities and challenges for locally raised meats: An online consumer survey in South Carolina. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 12(2), 159–184.