TRAVERSE CITY—Taste the Local Difference™ (TLD), the local food marketing program of the Michigan Land Use Institute, celebrated the launch of its 2014 guides and a new collaboration with Tom’s Food Markets at a special tour and press conference on June 26.
TLD publishes county-based guides and smartphone apps to make it easy for consumers to find local food in northern Michigan. Now in its 10th year, TLD is partnering with Tom’s Food Markets to sell more local food in their stores.
Tom’s is the proving ground for a new marketing strategy featuring brightly colored “shelf talker” labels, designed to help shoppers identify the local food throughout the stores. The shelf talkers also show how far each product was grown or made from that particular store, helping consumers determine for themselves what “local” means to them.
The new TLD marketing campaign kicked off at Tom’s, but will be shared with retail food markets across the region.
“We’re working directly with Tom’s and other retail grocers because that’s where the bulk of consumers purchase their food,” said Bill Palladino, senior policy specialist at MLUI and director of the TLD program. “We’re trying first to help consumers identify local food in the stores where they shop, and ultimately to convince them to buy local products.”
As part of our series “Milestones … and Milestones in the Making,” we invited Patty Cantrell to reflect on the formative days of our Food & Farming program.