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Capital University News, California State University, Sacramento

April 4, 2005

The truth behind state's stereotypes

As if there were really any doubt, the results of a survey by Sacramento State Marketing professor Dennis Tootelian for the state's California Grown marketing campaign offer proof that Californians are indeed a special breed:

  • 21 percent of survey respondents have taken a mud bath.
  • 47 percent have milked a cow (the percentage is slightly higher in Sacramento and Fresno).
  • 99 percent have barbecued or eaten barbecued chicken, turkey, lamb or salmon, while 83 percent have made or eaten barbecued fruit or vegetables.
  • 70 percent have visited a winery.

The survey results disprove one especially persistent California stereotype-only 24 percent of respondents, who were polled in Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego, have ever surfed-while suggesting that other perceptions about Californians may not be far off the mark. For example, 63 percent of survey respondents have hugged a tree, 67 percent have called someone "dude" on at least one occasion, and 71 percent have used the word "awesome" to describe something they've tasted.

Tootelian conducted the survey for the California Grown campaign in February as a lighthearted way to support the image of free-thinking Californians presented in the "California Grown" television commercials, billboards and in-store signage, which inspired the survey questions.

"It was a fun study to do," says Tootelian, who has consulted on other aspects of the California Grown campaign. "It was interesting to look at the lifestyles that determine the products Californians buy and the services they use."

Supported by public and private funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and 29 California agriculture organizations, the California Grown campaign was launched to raise awareness of California-grown food products.

More information about the survey, including complete results, can be found at


California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •
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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •