Seward Co-op 2017 Owner Satisfaction Survey

During February 2017, nearly 500 Seward Community Co-op owners provided their feedback on the cooperative’s performance. Seward appears to be meeting owners’ needs quite well; nearly 90% of the respondents said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied, and we rank highly relative to other food cooperatives around the country. However, newer owners are less satisfied with Seward than more long-time owners, and overall satisfaction indicators have been trending slightly downward since 2013.

In terms of shopper satisfaction with store characteristics, Seward ranks significantly higher than the average cooperative with respect to some key store features: quality/freshness of its products, location, hours, atmosphere, and natural/organic products. Seward Co-op owners are even more pleased with the quality of store departments; nearly every department meets the needs of a significantly higher proportion of owners than the average cooperative.

Compared to other cooperatives around the country, Seward owners spend a significantly higher proportion of their food budget at the cooperative. In 2017, nearly half said that Seward is their primary grocery store.

Owner awareness of the P6 and Nourish programs was mixed. A much higher proportion (70%) was aware of the P6 initiative than the Nourish program (43%). Consumers seem to place more value on an item being organic or local than whether it is classified as P6.

In terms of communications, Seward owners continue to prefer more traditional forms of communication (emails/e-newsletter, in-store postings and mailings) over social media communication (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). Large majorities of respondents said they are satisfied with the frequency and content of communications from us.

Seward Co-op, based on the 2017 results, continues to be high performing. The results suggest the need to address some issues: consolidating our position with newer owners, trying to determine the source of erosion of the proportion of very satisfied owners, considering the array of products offered at the Friendship store, and concerns about prices. Seward comes at these issues from a position of strength vis a vis owners’ attitudes about the cooperative.