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How to Sell Your Foods at a Festival

How do you Sell Your Foods at Festivals? You start by foraging the festivals before making a commitment. Before participating in a festival, take time to scout it out. Go and see what people are selling. Since you’re selling food, check out the quality of the other vendor’s products. Evaluating whether your products are of similar quality is a good thing.

What To Do Before You Sell Your Foods

If you don’t have time to check everything out, there are a few things you can do. Contact the festival manager and learn the following information. You want to sell your food: Ask how you can be successful at doing that. Have the festival manager share the past success of other vendors.

What was the…

  • Expected attendance
  • Demographics of the attendees
  • Ask about the cost of food products
  • Where is the location of your festival booth/stand/tent
  • Will you be near the entrance or exit? (Being near the entrance means attendees will still want to buy before leaving)
  • Ask about making a trial run before the day of the festival

Make an effort to get as much information before the festival as possible.

Should you be able to scout out the event grounds early, pay attention to what people are buying. What are customers carrying around? Popcorn, cupcakes, Danishes during the morning and pretzels in the afternoon. This will give you an idea of what will sell. Also, look to see what types of booths have long lines.

It can also help to ask around. This is no time to be shy. Most vendors have participated in lots of festivals. They’ll be open to sharing because they know what to expect.

If you’ve never attended a festival, it’s best to start small. You don’t want to throw a large amount of money into the event if your target audience is not attending. Try not to jump into a large show, if at all possible. Chances are you won’t have the amount of product needed. Slow and steady wins the race when selling your foods at a festival.

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Research Complete: Time to Sell Your Foods

Once you have done your research, plan ahead for volume. Most festivals will have attendance numbers to give you some idea of how much product you need. It is difficult to ask folks who have never attended the festival what to expect. Get your information from the festival manager or other attendees/vendors.

You don’t want to bring too many products and not have space for it. But you need enough product so you’re not selling out before the event is over. This is a delicate balance. If you don’t hit a home run, don’t stress. Remind yourself this is your first time and you’ll be better prepared for the next festival.

Can Your Sell Your Foods At This Festival?

Not every festival is going to be appropriate for what you sell. Pick and choose what you take to each event. You won’t take all the same things that you take to an art festival or Christmas festival, for instance. Think about the audience and what they are likely to buy before deciding what to bring. Their goal is to buy your food, your goal is to sell your food.

Keep it simple. At festivals, you can’t have as many choices as you normally would at your local farmers’ market. You can overwhelm customers who don’t have much time to make a decision. They’re at the festival to have fun!

You can also run the risk of making your booth look overcrowded and messy. Pare down your choices and stick to your most popular items. This is not the time to experiment with new products.

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Your Goal: Sell Your Foods

Create an attractive display. The best displays are clean and not too cluttered. They should highlight your best products. You can keep the extra product in boxes under your tables.

When designing your display/booth/tent, think about the atmosphere you want to create. Are you using vibrant splashes of color? Veer away from display trays that can break, keep it safe and simple, yet attractive.

Offer products in a range of prices. You want to be able to reach a wide range of customers. That means you need to price some items on the low end, some mid-range. The higher-priced products could be a variety package.

Sell Your Foods: Your Customers Want What You Have

No matter what happens, be willing to reevaluate. Your prices shouldn’t always stay the same. You may find that your prices are too high for your target audience. It’s possible that your competitors are selling significantly lower. Be willing to move up or down on your prices as needed.
As you take part in festivals you will learn some products may not be profitable for you. If they’re not profitable, drop them. Until you get comfortable selling some items you may sell at cost or just above it to draw people in. But, you don’t want to sell too many items at cost, as it drives down your profits.
Work on your craft. One way to pull customers in if you want to sell your food is to offer lots of samples. That’s why the display must pop! People eat with their eyes. Make the food remarkable.
You may be surprised by what sells the most at your festival. When something suddenly becomes popular, continue to make it the main attraction. It’s okay to sell out. Breathe, and remember patience is a virtue. Good luck!