Farmers Markets: It’s Not All Fruits and Veggies

There is a revolution occurring at farmers markets today. They no longer sell just fruits and vegetables, but honey, butter for the local dairy farmer, Artisan breads, carrot cake, cupcakes, cookies, pies, jams, jellies and pickled okra and bamboo shoots. The unique variety of products available is endless.

If you are interested in selling homemade baked goods or family recipes at your local Farmers Market, stay abreast of food trends by using Goggle Alerts to locate what’s hot and what’s not. What was a huge seller last year may not be this year and although people loved those butter-cream topped cupcakes last year they may be seeking smaller versions this year; cutting back to help both their health and wallet.

If you are a home-based baker, baking Artisan breads; you might want to consider offering value-added items, such as homemade jams, jellies and fruit butters. Remember though, some value added products can be costly, so select accordingly and consider selling your products both individually and as a pair. There are also numerous legal restrictions that need to be followed before selling your value-added product; you may have to use a incubator or licensed commercial kitchen facility so check with your state/local regulator agency.

Every food processor should also note that a Farmers Market is not always the best location to sell every type of food product. People who visit and make purchases at local farmers market are looking for bargains. They are not interested in paying an exorbitant amount for a gourmet pound cake, custom cookies or homemade chocolate truffles. For example, pumpkin pies may be your favorite baked good; unfortunately, no one may want them on a sunny spring day in April. The venue (a farmers market) may be the perfect location, but the product does not represent what consumers want. You might fair better selling your oatmeal raisin bars, or gluten-free coconut butterscotch cookies, priced at 2-3 for $3.95-4.95. These are products farmers market attendees can eat while strolling through the market or stick in their purse for an afternoon snack.

The bottom line, before deciding to sell your home-based bakery products at any Farmers Market do your homework and check out what others are selling. You do not have to sell the same thing, but think about what folks might want to purchase. Do your food products compliment other goods being sold at the market? If you are out selling on a Saturday, would a miniature pecan coffee cake be something consumers might pick up for Sunday morning coffee before church; or something they would take to an ailing friend? Farmers Markets are great places to sell your goods if you selling what consumers want.