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Buy Local is a HOT Trend

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Buy local is a hot trend, the demand is exploding for locally grown and made products–which means more support for mom-and-pop stores.

The dividend: For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 comes back to the community. Only $43 recirculates from national chain stores.

The “buy local”ethos has its roots in the farmers markets movement: There are almost 5,000 farmers markets across the country, the result of more than 5 percent annual growth for the past five years, according to the Department of Agriculture. Nearly 60 percent of consumers say they try to shop at a farmers market. Wal-Mart and Safeway recently added “Locally Grown” sections to their produce departments, and the USDA launched a “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” marketing campaign.

Caring Entrepreneurs Become Local Angels
Recruiting locals and hiring from a youth work program have helped these businesses succeed in their mission and community.

Community Banks and Pantries to the Rescue
Community banks are making a play for a bigger share of the market.

Stand out in a crowded online marketplace by opening a traditional storefront.

Programs that promote community shopping, like Buy Local Orlando, are also popping up all over the country. About 40,000 Orlando shoppers have participated since May. “We like to appear that we’re not just consuming for the sake of consuming,” says Don Boudreaux, an economics professor at George Mason University. “It makes us feel good to show that we’re socially conscious.”


That ever-perceptive industry trend watcher Andrew Freeman is at it again. He’s back with his fourth annual list of picks for the food and restaurant trends with the most promise. His firm, Andrew Freeman & Company, advises restaurants and hotels on marketing and public relations campaigns.

Freeman’s latest list resulted from “a combination of close industry observation, coast-to-coast travel, discussions with industry experts, regular meetings with hotel and restaurant clients, conversations with press contacts, industry conference and extensive media research.”

Without further ado, here’s what Freeman & Co. see in their crystal ball for 2011:

The Pie’s the Limit: Move over cupcake, make way for pie, as pies in all sizes move from the state fair to seriously craveable fare. Decadence is endless with everything from savory, sweet, individual deep-fried pies, bite-sized minis and even pies blended into shakes.

New Mom & Pop Shops: Realizing the time is now, and if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it your way, partners are opening self-financed and self-built restaurants. These are small places with fewer than 40 seats, designed by friends or family.

You’re the One: Single-purpose restaurants are serving variations on one thing. Don’t be surprised to see the Peanut Butter Palace, French Dippity Dog or even the Big Biscuit, serving biscuit sandwiches and eggs Benedict, opening soon.

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