Barriers to sustaining customer participation in hospital-based farmers’ markets: insights from employees

Daniel R. George, Jennifer L. Kraschnewski, Liza S. Rovniak, Lindsay Vaughn, Judy Dillon


92 farmers’ markets are located on hospital campuses in the United States but no known studies have evaluated factors influencing employee use of on-site markets. We examine modifiable barriers that reduced employee participation in a hospital-based market at Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center. 360 employees of Pennsylvania State Hershey Medical Center who used a weekly on-site seasonal market less than twice annually were sent an online survey, and frequency of response data were analyzed. Most frequently referenced barriers to participation were: location/access to the market, personal work schedules, cost of market products, and hours of operation, while top perceived benefits were support of local agriculture, health benefits, atmosphere/environment, and affordability. Hospital markets using value-based marketing campaigns to promote local economic and individual health benefits of participation, maximize convenience and access, and incentivize attendance are likely to sustain employee participation. These modifiable features may be relevant to worksite markets in diverse regions.

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Journal of Hospital Administration

ISSN 1927-6990(Print)   ISSN 1927-7008(Online)

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