International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Direct Markets as Multiple Consumption Spaces: The Case of Two Norwegian Collective Marketing Initiatives

International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture and Food

Volume 18, issue 1 (2011), pages 54-69

Authors: Gunnar Vittersøa and Anne M. Jervellb
Affiliation: aNational Institute for Consumer Research (SIFO), Nydalen, Oslo, Norway; bSchool of Economics and Business, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway

ISSN: 0798-1759


Abstract

Direct markets, such as farmers’ markets and farm shops, have in the academic literature been discussed as alternative spaces of food to the conventional food system. Through theoretical perspectives on consumption and recreation, the article adopts a broad view on the development of these markets. It discusses how farmers both through collective organizations and as individual producers market their food products and rural services, and how these marketing initiatives are perceived and used by consumers. In recent years, farm-based businesses have identified tourism and recreational consumption as interesting for marketing of food products. Recreational consumption is one of the most rapidly growing consumption areas and both domestic and international tourism are part of this trend. Two Norwegian examples of farmers’ collective marketing are presented in this article. The analysis and discussion is based on several sources: in-depth interviews, the organizations’ self-presentations on the Internet and survey material. The article concludes that these direct markets represent an interesting option for consumers both as a leisure experience and as part of ordinary food consumption. An important future task is to better organize the collective marketing initiatives to meet the challenges that these different consumer demands represent in the food and leisure markets.

View Article (PDF)