You’re growing a tremendous amount of strawberries or some other wonderful fruit. Time to sell it and make some money, right? Before you jump in, let’s take a look at ten key factors to consider when looking to sell fresh produce at your local farmers market.
Quality and freshness of the produce
Customers at farmers markets are looking for high-quality, fresh produce. Otherwise, they’d head to the big box store that sells everything. Make sure your fresh produce meet these high standards to attract and retain local customers.
Produce Prices by the Pound
Do some research and determine a fair price for your produce based on your costs of production, competition at the market, and the demand for your products. You probably need to visit the market and surrounding markets and “investigate” what you should be charging. Be sure to figure out what legal for trade retail scale you should buy.
Presentation at the Market
Remember, these local customers can buy their fruits and vegetables at a number of different places. A clean, attractive display can help draw in customers and make your products more appealing. And, not only that, in many ways, those customers are buying because of you as well. A friendly, knowledgeable, & jovial demeanor can be an asset for you as well.
Choose a farmers market that is convenient and easily accessible to your target customer base. If you have multiple choices, you may have to experiment and see which market is better for you. Maybe one has less direct competition or better hours, etc…
Marketing and promotion
Use social media, local advertising, and word-of-mouth to promote your products and attract customers to your booth at the farmers market. It’s really inexpensive to print out business cards or even create a basic website. Let your customers know your schedule and have a channel in place for them to provide feedback to you as well.
Providing friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful customer service can help build relationships with customers and encourage them to return to your booth.
Offering a diverse selection of fresh produce over time can help attract a wider range of customers and increase sales.
Packaging and Labeling
Proper packaging and labeling can help protect and preserve your produce, and can also provide important information to customers about your products. See marketing info above. Stickers and labels are not too expensive and will help remind customers where they bought their apples from and what vendor they used as well.
Obviously you need to follow all applicable food safety regulations to ensure the safety of your fresh fruits and vegetables and protect the health of your customers.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
This is one that often gets overlooked. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations that apply to your business, including any licenses or permits required to sell produce at a farmers market. You’ll also want to make sure that your legal for trade digital scale complies with any local or state regulations.