The best time to talk about farmer’s markets is now? Why? Because those pesky farmer’s market applications will be available in January 2019 and if you did not have success this year at your local farmer’s market there are a few things you need to consider. Before making the commitment again make sure the market you select is best for your product.
Everyone does not need to sell products at a farmer’s market. Sometimes a farmer’s market is a great place to set up a mock storefront. You can offer samples, gather an email list and meeting and consult with leads.
What makes a great farmer’s market?
You know you’re selling at a great market when the market manager is able to share data about sales, demographics and the number of people in attendance each week. When searching for a farmer’s market to sell it, look for the following:
- Loyal customers and great vendors
- Customers that spend money, return regularly and bring friends
- Farmers Markets that host brainstorming session to improve sales and marketing strategies
- Good parking and restrooms for the patrons
- Shade or “permanent” tents
- Indoor space when inclement weather occurs
- Socializing and music
- Allowing the sales of ethnic foods
- One-Stop Shopping
- Good traffic patterns so consumers can easily enter and exit
When selecting a farmer’s market consider, location, location, location. The right farmer’s market location is determined by a combination of market concept and ideal customer. If you can define your food business and product, and identify your target demographics, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the perfect farmer’s market, so your business is set for success.
Gather demographic information. The best farmer’s markets should have information about their visitors, sales and social media engagement. Why is age, gender, relationship status, median income, religion, environment, and ethnicity important?
Seek a farmer’s market that wants to know who their ideal customer is, and how that matches with the demographics of the surrounding neighborhood. If you have a pricey product, you may be looking for a more upscale farmer’s market. You may be seeking a more affluent clientele. Awareness of demographics is especially important for niche and ethnic home food entrepreneurs, which often cater to a smaller population segment.
Selling at a Farmer’s Market
If you locate a farmer’s market that is perfect for the sale of your product remember to:
- Do market research
- Gather demographic information about the market location
- Review the farmers’ market rules and regulations
- Start small, test the waters
- Identify your niche
Design an attractive food stand
- Develop a process for taking your product to market
- Prepare for a long day, take water and snacks
- Build relationships with other vendors