Market Viability of Native Central Texan Plants as a Food Source

Thursday, July 25, 2013: 1:30 PM
Springs Salon D/E (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Benjamin J. Glover , Agriculture, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Tina Waliczek Cade , Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
Jean-Marc Gandonou , Department of Agriculture, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
The purpose of this study is to test the consumer willingness to pay rate of a native Texas plant fruit product for the restaurant industry as well as for the consumer market. Farmers’ markets and restaurants specializing in either local and/or organic foods were the focus of the market samples. The survey to determine market viability was two-fold: the first part was an intercept survey of farmers’ markets in multiple cities where individuals were asked to participate in the survey, and the second part was a lead-user interview survey with restaurateurs in the same cities as the farmers’ markets. Five cities all located in the geographic area of Central Texas were included: San Marcos, Austin, New Braunfels, Wimberly, and Bastrop. Approximately 400 responses were gathered from farmers’ markets during market days at market locations. Ten surveys of restaurateurs provided more in-depth qualitative data on the value of the product to specialty restaurants. Results indicate whether native plant food products represent a viable horticulture industry.