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Bringing More Customers To Your Kentucky Farmers’ Market Janet Eaton Kentucky Farmers Market Association
A Little Self Reflection First….. • Who are your loyal customers now? • Where do they live? • Basic demographics • How much do they spend? • How often do they come? • What brings them back? • What would they like to find that you don’t have or don’t have enough of? • Do you have customers that speak a different language? • When do they shop? Time of day? Day of week?
Are You Ready For More Customers? How strong is your market early season and late season? Do you sell out of the basics each market day? What do you want to sell to the new customers? What is the capacity of the present producers? Will more customers mean new producers? What are your market’s strengths and weaknesses?
Do You Know Your Market’s Story? Who is your market? Prescribed market contact Identify media contacts and cultivate relationships Helps you sell the market to possible partners
What Do You Need To Know? Name of Market Number of Members Where do they come from Days and hours of operation Opening day and closing day Contact name and number (Must be accessible) History Mission Stories of members (Are they open to visits by media) How many acres are represented by your market Traditional events Annual sales – Up? Down? New and unique products
Dull Way The Barn County Farmers’ Market will have its grand opening this Saturday. The market is open on Main Street in downtown Gattitown on Saturday mornings from 8 am until 12 noon from now until the end of October. We have tomatoes, beans, peppers, eggs and much more. Buy local.
Interesting Way • The Barn County Farmers’ Market invites everyone to downtown Gattitown this Saturday for the opening of its 12th season. Thirteen vendors from Barn County and surrounding counties will be there to offer you their best produce, farm fresh eggs, local beef and so much more. • Mike and Janet Eaton of Harrodsburg Road have been selling at the market for three years. • “We are so excited to see our customers again after the long cold winter,” said Janet. “We have worked hard to have a good selection of lettuces and broccoli along with strawberries on opening day.” • In this time of disappearing farm land, the Barn Co Farmers Market members farm 55 acres of local land keeping it farm land for now and future generations. • Mark your calendar now for our special kids days the first Saturday of each month from 9 am until 11 am. On these Saturdays the market offers supervised kids activities that are great for grandparents and parents to enjoy a special activity at the market with their young folks. • The market opens this Saturday and will be open each Saturday through the end of October. For further information contact Tina Faye at (444) 555-1234 or become a friend of the market on Facebook for up-to-date information on products, vendors and special events.
Who Are You Trying To Attract? Younger Foodies EBT/FMNP customers Busy Families Seniors Professionals ??????
For The New Customers What media do they use? What are their constraints? What are they looking for? Where do they shop now? How do they pay? Health issues? Other interests?
So Let’s Pick One – Busy Families • What media do they use? • Cell phones and social media • Don’t read newspapers • What are their constraints? • Time • Kids’ activities • Rarely carry cash or checks • What are they looking for? • Things that kids will eat • Quick and easy • Food that makes them feel good • Where do they shop now? • Drive thru windows • Grocery mega store • Health issues? • No time for themselves • Stress • Other interests? • Soccer • Church • Activities for families
So How Do You Attract Them? Kids’ activities that encourage buying and eating local produce. Mother and daughter cooking classes. Better yet dad and kid cooking classes. Once school starts, don’t conflict with kids activities. Make easy to buy dinner idea packages or something easy for parents to take to make when they get together with friends.
How Do We Put On Events? We Are Already Exhausted!!
Option #1 - Form a Committee of Interested Community Folks and Vendors Approach your best customers Make your mission clear – we want to sell more produce or we want to make the market a more fun place or we want to attract more families. Empower them and accept graciously the work they do. Use your market story. Thank them publically.
Option #2 - Hire Someone Else to Do Them For You • Look long and hard at hiring a manager for events. • If everyone is selling out now, why bother? • Make your expectations clear. • Don’t let your event manager get caught up in everyday affairs • Everyone will have to ante up funds to pay them. (Don’t you hire folks to do what you can’t do yourself?)
Option #3 – Get a community sponsor • What’s in it for them? • Use your market story • No one says you can only have one • Here are some options: • Main street programs • Chamber of Commerce • Health organizations • Art leagues • Extension • Churches
A Great Idea Or Two • Community dinners • High end • Involve local chefs • Work better than farmer/chef match up events • Farmers should be present and featured • Information about the market and how to get involved should be featured • Good things for local media to sponsor • Local potlucks • More relaxed • Everything must have an ingredient from a local farmer (Items must be marked.) • Have to make getting these items easy • Large picnic at a local park • Good idea for parks and recreation or farm organizations to sponsor