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Investing in Local: 5 Compelling Reasons to Embrace Locally Sourced Products

Shop local support small business

Support your local economy, ensure quality, and uplift your reputation all while saving some money.

Whether you’re running a restaurant, hotel, or any other business selling food, switching to locally-sourced products can increase your profit.

The chief impact officer of Newgate Carbon Solutions, a company that helps businesses improve their environmental impact, Scott Delaney says that working with food suppliers in your area is a great way to improve the value of your services and products. Not only can using locally sourced food cut your costs since you’re eliminating the middlemen, but it also gives you the ability to markup your prices. This is thanks to the freshness and highly-valued nature of the food.

You can also use the fresh food to create seasonal offerings. Nearly 60 percent of consumers say that they’re more likely to buy an item marked “seasonal” and 49 percent said seasonal items are more appetizing.

If your business serves food, there’s plenty to gain by making the switch to locally sourced ingredients.

1. Cutting costs

By sourcing ingredients locally, businesses can reduce transportation costs, as the distance between the supplier and the buyer are significantly smaller. Buying directly from local farmers or other suppliers cuts out any middlemen, allowing businesses to negotiate better prices and they could even get discounts after building a relationship with their local suppliers.

2. Preserving freshness

Locally sourced ingredients are often fresher and more flavorful since they are typically harvested at their peak and brought to the buying business much faster. The lack of long transportation and storage times ensures that the ingredients retain their taste, resulting in dishes that are tastier and will leave guests wanting to come back for more.

3. Better reputation

Supporting local suppliers and providing fresher food options contributes to a positive brand reputation. More consumers are trying to go green and 57 percent of adults say they seek out restaurants that tout locally sourced food. Even without any environmental motivations, customers often appreciate transparency and knowing where their food or products come from.

4. Supporting the local economy

Using local suppliers supports the community’s economy by reinvesting money back into the area. This economic impact can extend beyond just one business cutting costs, benefiting other local employers and residents. Fostering a network of businesses within the community can create more jobs and it can also stir a sense of pride in local residents for supporting local businesses.

5. Menu flexibility

With access to seasonal ingredients and products, businesses can evolve their menus throughout the year. Consumers can get a sense of FOMO when businesses offer something new or limited-time only. For example, they may be more eager to buy a strawberry smoothie if it’s only being sold during the short peak season with freshly grown fruit.