Buy Local. Shop Utah. Perhaps you’ve seen some of these campaigns on your morning commute or while browsing your local grocery store. It’s no secret that “buying local” is a popular option in the marketplace to boost local economies.
With the emergence of curbside pickup and home delivery services amidst a global pandemic, many shoppers are subject to the suggestions of online offerings or sale coupons pushed while making their virtual weekly shopping trip. Luckily some grocers have made an effort to identify “Local to Utah” for their online shoppers, but this seems to be more of the exception than the rule, leaving local businesses at the mercy of a retailer’s marketing team to identify their product as local.
Local branding is not new to Utah. In fact, as early as 2001, industry leaders in conjunction with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food formed the Utah Food Council to establish and outline the Utah’s Own marketing program. The intent of this new brand was to create a consumer culture of choosing Utah products at grocery stores, restaurants and everywhere consumers shop. Through the use of the Utah’s Own brand, local businesses now have an avenue in which to brand their own products without reliance on third-party sellers and/or marketing teams. Consumers also have ease of product identification via the recognizable 20-year-old brand logo.
As the Utah’s Own program has evolved, so has its ability to assist local entrepreneurs in their efforts to identify their products as local to Utah. With the introduction of an annual membership fee in 2017, a matching grant fund was made available to Utah’s Own member companies to place the Utah’s Own logo directly on their packaging.
To date this year, Utah’s Own assisted six different companies with product labeling:
- Keeper of the Bee – Utah raw honey
- Payson Fruit Growers – Utah family farm cooperative
- SLC Baking Company – Utah wholesale bakery
- Solstice Malt – Utah craft malt house
- P&P Coffee – Utah coffee roaster
- Wasatch Waffles – Utah organic pancake/waffle mix
Additional funding remains available to qualifying Utah’s Own member companies.
Shop Utah. Buy Local. The next time you’re browsing the winter market or grocery store for your favorite Utah product, look for the authentic local brand: Utah’s Own.
Return to the January 2021 Cultivating Connections newsletter here.
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