In recent years, farmers' markets have been rapidly spreading due to their ability to meet the needs of consumers who are guided by ethical, responsible and green values. By purchasing fresh, organic and local products at farmers' markets, consumers satisfy their current concerns for nutrition, health, well-being and a return to a "normal" way of living, while also supporting local farmers. Several studies have investigated this phenomenon from either an economic or from a rural-agricultural point of view. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the first stream of studies, and it particularly aims at analyzing the behavior of shoppers who frequent farmers' markets. Through an empirical analysis conducted on shoppers at three Italian farmers' markets, this study identifies the profile of such shoppers and determines the reasons for their satisfaction at farmers' markets. Using a regression analysis, this study suggests and successfully tests the impact of a factor known as "perceived customer-company-territory interaction" (CCTI) on shoppers' satisfaction. CCTI registers the perceived (intangible) value created through the social-economic interactions among customers, local companies (farms) and their territory. Thus, we found that the shoppers' satisfaction was not only influenced by tangible aspects, such as the product quality and the comparative price convenience, but that satisfaction is also influenced by the complementary impact of an intangible factor, CCTI. The findings in this study might assist in the development of useful and strategic insights to manage this "new" phenomenon. In particular, the study offers suggestions to several players, including public policy makers, public organizations, farmers' markets' organizers and traditional retailers.
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