Northwest Michigan goes High-Tech with Revamped Local Food Campaign

08/1/2013

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After a decade of connecting Northwest Michigan farmers and consumers, Taste the Local Difference (TLD), Michigan Land Use Institute’s local food initiative, is now marketing Michigan good food in a whole new way.

Along with the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network, TLD has announced a goal of increasing the region’s food and farming systems’ resilience to provide at least 20 percent of the region’s food by 2020. And they have introduced a suite of fresh marketing strategies to help achieve this goal. The new campaign utilizes a new philosophy, new look, new logo and an expansion of TLD’s Food & Farm Guide, all to better connect with Michigan consumers and increase the sales of local food.

IPhone screenshot of the new TLD app.

A smartphone screenshot of the new TLD app.

Instead of a single map, the Food and Farm guide is now made of six individual maps representing specific geographic areas of northwest Lower Michigan to give consumers better access to information on how and where to find local food. Included in the guide are farms, restaurants, retailers, vineyards, breweries, and other Michigan establishments. Copies will be available at various locations throughout Northwest Michigan.

In addition to the updated paper guide, the initiative is getting more tech-savvy. The TLD website has been updated, giving more details on each listing, and search options for users to find local products and businesses based on their region, what they are looking for, and who they would like to get it from. In addition to listing farmers markets and businesses that source local farm fare, farms themselves can also be searched for by region, growing practices, availability of pickup, and products – leaving consumers with very few questions unanswered about how to obtain farm-fresh food. This information is also available as a smartphone app for iPhone and Android devices with GPS capability that gives users step-by-step driving directions directly to places where they can purchase local food.

Northwest Michigan has big expectations in the development of  their region’s food and farming systems, and Taste the Local Difference’s new marketing campaign is working to help Michigan producers and consumers fulfill these goals.

To get copies of the maps, download the new smartphone apps or find more information, visit www.localdifference.org.