It’s always a challenge to have too much produce remaining after an abundant harvest, or goods leftover after the summer markets.
Always on a tight budget, what are the best ways to get the word out, so you can sell it?
Here are some ideas to help you move that product. Some things you may already be doing or could do better. Others may be new, or potentially don’t fit your business model.
But whatever the case, you have to take action.
Word of Mouth Marketing
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to share information quickly. It used to be just telling your friends and neighbours. And that still works, but online communications plus intentional face-to-face encounters will help you reach more people.
Your ideal audience needs to know what you are selling, why they would want to buy it, and where to buy it.
Be sure to:
- craft messages focused on benefits to them, rather than just you trying to unload produce or product. i.e. fresher and tastier than grocer, meal and recipe ideas, health benefits
- use that message consistently on all your online and offline assets – your website, e-newsletters, social media sites, and yes, even face-to-face conversations at farmers markets, in your farm gate, at events (Fall and Church fairs, Chambers of Commerce, Association meetings), etc.
- be visual and show your bounty, show what you can do with it, have people images that tell a story about your harvest, use photos and videos.
Product / Pricing Options
- Bundles – A few related items packaged together can be very attractive for a consumer. How can you bundle your bumper crop with something else? Without having to discount anything, think of menu themes, types of food box offerings, and seasonal favourites.
- Bulk – By selling in bulk, at a lower price per unit, you can move more product with less overhead. You could potentially attract more loyal customers with a discounted price. Or you may need to consider a multiple margin strategy. Not sure what that is? Contact our Agri-Financial Specialist to learn more.
- Collaborate – Who can you collaborate with to either sell things together, or promote product together? By sharing the marketing with someone else, you both can reach a larger audience and consequently sell more. Can you host a joint sales event, or join forces in a regional market, swap produce with other farm gates – i.e. you have corn, they have squash?
Depending on your distribution model, you may have several other options to use word of mouth marketing.
- Local distributor or broker – ensure they know it’s time sensitive
- Farmers markets or associations – get on their social media, websites, and events
- Restaurants – get connected with your local chefs to present ‘seasonal’ fare
- Grocers – particularly those promoting local producers, or regional supermarket chains
As with any marketing or sales efforts, it’s illogical and impractical to think you can reach everybody, everywhere, but a concerted effort for a critical situation like this can have a big impact. Pick and choose the right actions that fit your business.
We’ve presented some ideas to help you move your abundant bounty, in the short term. For year round marketing and business initiatives, you should have communications plans, sales channels, and processes clearly defined. Have a plan to maximize your time, budget, and resources, so you can grow your business.
We get what you do. We get you.
If you’re struggling with any of this, contact us to discover how you can improve your business with the Farm Food Drink team.