Do you limit your shopping at the Broadway Farmers Market because you think the prices are too high? This just-released study by Seattle University’s Albers School of Business students may allay some of your fears. Statistics students in Professor Stacey Jones’ class conducted a small scale study comparing prices of 20 items at four grocers (Safeway, QFC, co-ops and Whole Foods), against prices at two market locations (Broadway and University District).
Looking at the Capitol Hill dataset, Madison Market posed to be the toughest competitor to the Broadway Farmers Market. Of the 20 items compared, Madison Market had cheaper prices on 8 items. Prices were the same or equivalent (1 cent difference) on 4. And, Broadway Farmers Market had cheaper prices on 7 items (sweet onions could not be compared between the two because Madison Market did not carry them). But overall, the farmers market is, perhaps surprisingly, the best way to stretch your dollar. The average price was $3.82 for a Broadway Farmers Market item, $3.79 for a Madison Market item, $4.50 for a QFC item and $5.33 for a Safeway item.
We have attached a writeup of the study by Albers student Michael Kaemingk (2010_Price_Study_Kaemingk), as well as the full dataset (2010HANDOUT) to this post.