2Bits: Future of Farmers’ Markets
“As grocery delivery ramps up, these bastions of local food are no longer offering something quite so unusual. Who is the model serving and can it survive?”
Steve Holt, City Lab writer
In a recent article titled, “What’s the Future of the Urban Farmers’ Market?”, author Steve Holt shares data and his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities market managers and farmers have. New markets continue to open. Many cities, small and large, have seen the number of markets increase without the customer base increasing.
Locally sourced food is increasingly available at big box grocery stores, convenience stores, buses converted to mobile markets, and delivered right to your door as an online grocery order or meal kit. Will farmers markets continue to remain viable for farmers and consumers? We think so!
What are the pros and cons for beginning and seasoned market farmers?
Farmers’ markets are great places to learn direct selling skills and hear what customers need. Farmers can try new products, see what competitors are doing, and streamline production and product presentation methods. Beginning farmers gain critical experience when they join a farmers’ market.
However, markets are time and labor intensive. As farmers become more seasoned, develop a customer base and desire to grow their production capacity and income, they may need to spend more of their time “in the field” and less time at the market. These farmers need to use online options to stay connected to their customers. There are risks associated with selling at farmers’ markets, including not being able to sell all the produce harvested and possibly wasting it.
Do farmers markets still appeal to consumers?
Yes! Farmers markets are working hard to appeal to a wider income range of families. Market managers are collecting more data on who is and isn’t shopping at markets. Adjustments are being made in the days and hours markets are open. Their marketing strategies are becoming more targeted. Most market supporters agree that building a community and creating an inviting space where farmers and customers interact and learn from each other is the biggest plus markets offer.
Your 2BuyAg Community
Your 2BuyAg community and marketplace supports farmer market growth and participation by offering an easy online method to pre-order from market farmers! It streamlines the market process for both farmers and customers. Farmers that no longer have time to participate in farmers’ markets use 2BuyAg to stay connected to their customers and sell to them.