How Consumers Use Social Networks to Connect with Food Retailers: Traditional Advertising Tools

Posted: July 16, 2012

Focusing on traditional advertising, this article provides results regarding our respondents' views of print advertisements or broadcast ads, including television and radio, as being a good fit for direct marketers.

Print ads were generally seen as more appropriate than TV and/or radio for all outlets.  Nearly 62% believed print ads were a good fit for on-farm and farmer’s markets while only 37% felt that TV or radio fit these direct marketers well.  Table 1 shows these figures as well as U-Pick operations, roadside stands, and local wineries.

Table 1.  Percent of participants who thought print advertisements and television and/or radio were “good fits” for direct marketers.

Type of retail outlet
Print advertisements
Television and/or radio
 On-farm/farmer's markets
 Pick-your-own           53.8%             35.6%
 Road-side stand
          46.7%             24.4%
 Local winery
          48.1%             39.8%


Table 2 shows that print ads were seen as a better fit than broadcast ads for the direct markets investigated.  We also found that men had higher preference for both print and broadcast advertisements (64% and 40%, respectively) than women (57% and 31%, respectively). The same pattern holds for pick-your-own operations, road-side stands, and local wineries.

Table 2.  Percent of participants, by gender, who thought print advertisements and television and/or radio advertisements were “good fits” for several types of direct marketers.

Type of direct marketer
Print ads, male
TV and/or radio, male
Print ads, female
TV and/or radio, female
 On-farm and farmer's markets
 Pick-your-own operations
    56%      38%
   47%      30%
 Road-side stands
    49%      27%
 Local wineries
    50%      43%


We found that interest in print ads generally increased with education level.  For example, Table 3 shows the percent of respondents by age group who indicated that print ads were a good fit for on-farm and farmer’s markets.  A majority (68%) of those with at least a Master’s degree believed they were a good fit while only 52% of those with a high school education or less believed so.  The same pattern existed in print ads for pick-your-own operations and local wineries.  Pertaining to TV and/or radio ads, “fit” for a pick-your-own operation decreased from 46% to 31% as education increased.

Table 3.  Percent of participants, by education level, who thought that print advertisements were “good fits” for select direct marketers.

Education level
On-farm/farmer's markets
Pick-your-own operations
Local wineries
 High school graduate or less
 some college
           63.4%           55.4%       47.0%
 B.S. degree
           61.5%           53.2%       49.2%
 M.S. degree or higher
           68.8%           59.9%       57.3%


When we looked at large, national retailers, we noticed that, in general, more people believed that print and broadcast ads were a better fit for these types of outlets (Table 4).  However, print is still seen as a better fit than broadcast ads.

Table 4.  Percent of participants who thought the following advertising tools were “good fits” for large, national retailers.

 Local grocer
  73%     52%
 Grocery/supermarket   82%     61%
 Specialty food store
  68%     54%
 Supercenter   71%     59%
 Discounter   64%     46%
 Warehouse club
  65%     48%


In general, print and broadcast ads were viewed as a better fit for larger, national retailers. This doesn’t mean that direct marketers should not use these tools.  Rather, it means that direct marketers need to carefully evaluate the effectiveness of print and broadcast ads in their local market.  Results consistently showed that men found these tools to be a better fit for each type of retailer than women.  These may be a good way to motivate men to visit markets and retail outlets if they are properly targeted.

In the next article, we will present data that discusses who is reading online reviews and how they are responding.  To view the entire YouTube series, please visit



Contact Information

Jeffrey Hyde, Ph.D.
  • Associate Director of Programs
Phone: 814-865-5666
Kathy Kelley
  • Professor of Horticultural Marketing and Business Management
Phone: 814-863-2196
Dana Ollendyke
  • Extension Associate
Phone: 814-863-5567