Major developments in the U.S. food system include the increasing presence of nontraditional grocery retailers, such as supercenters and wholesale clubs, and competitive responses by traditional grocers, such as supermarket chains. These developments have contributed to sharp increases in concentration in the grocery retail sector, changing conventional relationships among retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. In such a competitive domestic food market, locally sourced foods offer farmers and food companies a means to differentiate themselves from the competition by responding to consumer preferences for local product offerings.

JEL Classifications: L11, L14, L66, L81, L83, M31