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Developing a Marketing Plan for Your Business
Every business needs a business plan that maps out the process of identifying the target market, attracting interest, gaining customers and retaining them for future sales. A solid marketing plan is an integral part of the overall business plan, as it maps out objectives and the plan for achieving them.
What Does a Marketing Plan Contain?
An effective marketing plan is detailed with concise steps that will accomplish a defined goal. The plan should identify and discuss the target market with information about direct competition in the industry. It should include information about marketing activity used in the past with the effectiveness of these activities. Then, the marketing plan consists of a set of realistic goals with defined objectives along with deadlines for meeting these objectives. The plan must also include budgetary guidelines for the marketing activities as well as a plan for measuring the effectiveness of the activities. It’s important to make the marketing plan easy to maintain and update as a company evolves, too.
Marketing Planning Process
The process of making a marketing plan involves market research to assess trends, profile target customers, identify potential competition, outline products or services, find vendors, calculate costs and brainstorm all positive and negative impacts that could affect the business. The business should create a mission statement that defines the company, its vision and its priorities. Next, the plan needs to focus on specific strategies and methods that will generate sales, including product descriptions, calls to action, promotion and advertising methods and budget, product or service pricing, and a plan to monitor how effective the marketing strategies are performing for the company.
Questions to Ask Yourself
To succeed in any industry, a business needs to set itself apart to attract customers and compete successfully with similar businesses. Questions to ponder include:
- Is this business model unique, and how is it unique? What need does the business meet?
- Who makes up the target market that will buy the service or product?
- What other companies currently exist that will compete for the target market? How can you prevail over this competition?
- What message will you communicate to potential buyers? How will potential buyers find out about your service or product?
- How will you deliver your service or product to your buyers?
Using a Marketing Plan Template
Some small business owners prefer to use a marketing plan template. Free marketing plan templates are available for download from the Internet. You can also use a marketing plan worksheet to help you brainstorm your ideas, goals and objectives. Once you have an outline of your marketing objectives, you can create an effective plan.
How Do I Write a Marketing Plan?
Make sure your marketing plan includes these points:
- Start with a description of the business, including mission statement and overall intent. Include goals, the organization of the business, the products or services provided with branding, and the target market.
- Outline results of market research, including identification of target market, customer demographics and profiles, market influences, economy, competition, customer satisfaction and identification of strengths and weaknesses the business may face.
- Set pricing based on business and manufacturing costs, break-even point, profit analysis, competitive pricing and the amount buyers are willing to pay.
- Include profiles of your target market, including demographics, their habits, qualities valued by customers, potential customers not being currently reached, ways to reach these customers and any changes customers might want.
- Analyze the competition based on talking to their customers, visiting their business and checking out their website. Find out about their products, branding, advertising and marketing. Pinpoint how your product or service differs.
- State goals that create a defined marketing direction. Plan objectives that outline specific actions that will achieve goals. Be as specific and realistic as possible, and describe how you will measure attainment of objectives and goals.
- Make a plan to put objectives in action to attain goals. For example, if your goal is to increase product reorders by 25 percent in the next year, make an objective to contact clients by phone or email within one month of sales, offering a return-order discount.
- Define your company’s distribution method such as direct sales, wholesale, print mail, telemarketing, advertising, networking, Internet marketing or a direct sales force.
- Create a marketing budget, such as a specific percentage of revenue or a particular portion of your annual budget. Every product or service needs a budget. Determine how many products or services you will need to sell to make a profit.
- Analyze the success of marketing efforts to determine what’s working and what’s not working. How many sales occurred? Are buyers happy? How many sales calls were necessary to make sales?
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Fruit veg lesson 2 developing a marketing plan.
Marketing strategies for the fruit and vegetables sector
Want to continue reading?
In our blog on Buying and selling fruits and vegetables online we discussed the importanceof digitalisation in the fruit and vegetables sector, above all in the beginning of Covid-19 lockdowns, highlighting the average weekly growth of 21.6% in onlinesales of fresh produce in the distribution sector between the months of February and May 2020. With this in mind, marketing strategies for the fruit and vegetables sector have changed drastically tofocus on online marketing. Adapting to this new reality raises many questions about how to implement a reliable and effective Marketing plan. Here are our recommendations.
What do I need to develop a marketing strategy in the fruit and vegetable sector?
1. Connect via social networks
From LinkedIn where you can connect with other professionals in the sector to Tiktok where you can talk about your crops or the daily events in your fruit and vegetable business or the in-store presentation of your products. Social networks are an extremely useful channel through which to connect with your potential customers and build up loyalty.
2. Take full advantage of the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables
You may be wondering what this means? People are aware that fruits and vegetables are beneficial to their general health, but what if you take it a step further and provide them with useful and precise information about your products? If you grow them, you could add relevant data about the crop on the packaging, or if you sell them you could show characteristics at the point of sale that serve to highlight their qualities. In a recent talk with experts from the agri-foodindustry we touched on the value of such information and how to take advantage of packaging. You can listen to it here . There are dozens of unexpected combinations!
3. Create digital spaces for your products
An online catalogue for your fruits and vegetables, to give just one example, not only does it allow you to sell at any time from any place, but also as a way of highlighting the attractiveness of your products. Moreover, you can easily share it across your networks and chats so that purchasing is just one click away.
4. Link up with sector influencers
There are people out there specialising in highly specific market niches, and the world of fruit and vegetables is one of them! Finding people to promote your products and brand will ensure targeted audiences become aware of what you have to offer. You can also link up with people interested in your produce and all that lies behind it.
5. Consolidate partnerships
In addition to influencers, other outlets are available such as publishers specialising in research papers or cookery books in which fruit and vegetables are the main ingredients. There are also schools looking for innovative ways to make fruit and vegetables popular among their students (which could be via your first-hand accounts and any materials you could provide them). The possibilities are infinite, you just need to find the angle that best suits what you’re after.
Are you ready to take a step that will change the course of your business? At Consentio we offer you the boost you are looking for right now. We were waiting for you!
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Marketing Strategies for Retailing Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
Retailers of fresh produce like fruits and vegetables can enjoy sustainable earnings since these are the products that people would normally consume all year round. If you are thinking of entering this type of business, you must equip yourself with effective marketing strategies that cannot only help you promote your products but can also educate consumers about the consumption of fresh produce.
When you sell your fruits and vegetables, it is recommended that you supply the necessary nutritional information about these products with the help of package labels. Standard nutrition labels include a list of micro and macronutrients found on your fruit and vegetables. These labels also provide information on a product’s serving size and the number of calories per serving. Potential health benefits from your products can also be included on the label.
Some people don’t know how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into their meals, which makes them shy away from purchasing fruits and vegetables. As a retailer, you have the power to encourage them in making their own nutritious meal and snacks out of fresh produce.
Recipes that you will create for your products must be consulted first with professional cooks, registered dietitians, and other related professionals. Once you have consolidated all possible recipes, you can now include some of them on the packaging of specific fruit and vegetables. If the packaging is too small for a lengthy recipe, you can still be creative by placing a QR code or a specific link that redirects the consumer to a detailed recipe and meal preparation steps of the involved produce.
Maintaining an online presence can boost your ability to sell more fresh produce. Preparing recipes out of your products can be shared online with the help of photographs and videos. Moreover, blog posts and e-book that have cooking tips and full recipes for main courses, side dishes, salads, and desserts can also be maximised online.
You can partner with cookbook authors, bloggers, social media influencers, and television show hosts who want to receive fresh produce for their cooking activities. Working with them can help expand your business’s market reach. You can also sponsor a contest that encourages consumers in developing and submitting their favourite recipes out of your products in exchange for a prize.
With available resources, you can pre-package your fruits and vegetables so that your consumers can enjoy additional value out of their purchased products. One pre-packaging option that you can do is to pre-cut vegetables. Some consumers don’t want to spend a lot of time washing, peeling, and cutting vegetables. So, if you will be selling vegetables, you may want to pre-cut some of them to cater to this type of individual.
Another option for a pre-packaging option is to produce single-serve snacks and meals and party tray. Single-serve snacks are often made up of pre-cut and prewashed vegetables and dips like hummus, crackers, or cheese. Party trays, on the other hand, include vegetable crudités and ranch or onion dip, fruit and cheese platters, and fruit platters with a sweet dip option.
There are some consumers who would like to just eat at home without the need to cook for a long time. To help them out, you may want to sell meal kits, heat-and-eat meals, and fully prepared food. Meal kits have pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to cook them, allowing consumers to cook their food with adequate assistance. Alternatively, heat-and-eat meals offer a fully prepared sealed meal that can be heated at a consumer’s convenience. Lastly, preparing hot and cold recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables can also be an option for customers who would want to eat right away.
These marketing strategies for retailing fruits and vegetables can help you boost your business at any given aspect. If you need a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables, you can partner with us at Fruitique Wholesale.
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Fresh fruits marketing strategies
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Fruit marketing strategies are essential for fresh produce business owners since nowadays, thanks to improved public awareness, nutrition, functional foods, and home cooking have gained popularity. These trends can be helpful for fresh produce business owners to educate customers and increase their consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. By following these trends you can be able to market fresh fruits like Iranian apple.
The lack of information about cooking and preparing fresh fruits and vegetables often prevents consumers from purchasing them. A professional responsible for marketing vegetables and fruits, whether for producers or retailers, can encourage consumers to prepare their products with different preparation techniques properly and integrate vegetables and fruits into their daily and weekly meal plans. Experts in the fields of cooking, home economics, and nutrition can assist with the development of creative, delicious, and healthy recipes.
Nutrition Education and Labeling
A package label is an excellent way to provide nutritional information about fruit and vegetables when you are selling them. Dietitians, physicians, and even consumers themselves consider fresh fruits and vegetables “healthy” as an advantage in the market. Fruits and vegetables generally contain a considerable amount of fiber, are low in calories, often contain essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid, and may contain compounds with positive health effects. Nevertheless, the public may not know precisely what a particular fruit or vegetable contains. High value has been put on labels for prepackaged fresh fruits since they contain valuable information, and people who are concerned will read them. On nutritional labels for fruits and vegetables, you will find micronutrients and macronutrients. Additionally, the labels indicate the serving size as well as the number of calories per serving. Labels can also mention possible health benefits.
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One of the most popular fruit marketing strategies is prepackaged products. If you have the resources, prepackaging your fruits and vegetables is a simple option that can provide your consumers with added value. One way to prepackage vegetables is to precut them. It’s not always the consumers’ preference to wash, peel, and prepare vegetables. Therefore, if you are selling vegetables, precutting some of them may be helpful to these types of customers. Other prepackaging options include single-serve snacks and meals, and party trays. Most single-serving snacks typically consist of precut and prewashed vegetables, dips, crackers, or cheese. A variety of party trays are available, including crudités with ranch or onion dip, fruit platters with a sweet dip option, and fruit and cheese platters.
Many consumers who would enjoy eating at home but lack time to prepare meals often choose meal kits and ready-made foods at the grocery store. Meal kits, heat-and-eat meals, and prepared food are all their choices. The meal kits provide customers with all the ingredients they need to make their own food at home, but with comprehensive step-by-step instructions. They are all available online and in grocery stores. With heat and eat meals, customers can further maximize convenience by purchasing a prepared meal that is sealed, allowing them to heat it at their convenience.
The best way to reduce food waste and maximize profits at grocery stores is to prepare hot and cold recipes from fresh fruits and vegetables that are at the end of their shelf life. Eventually, these dishes will be sold in a salad bar, hot food bar, or deli. With all of these examples, fresh produce can enrich meal offerings by adding color, flavor, and nutrition. A meal kit with fruits and vegetables can also aid novice cooks in practicing using produce. Over time there will be a slight improvement in sales. This is considered as a fruit marketing strategy among those who are engaged in fruit marketing.
Developing Marketing Partnerships
Marketing partnerships are frequently beneficial to sellers and marketers of the fresh, whole produce. It involves partnering with businesses to pair produce with cooking equipment, seasonings, and complementary ingredients for recipe development in order to maximize sales for the entire promotion.
Marketers can use these strategies for fruit and vegetable retail to boost profits at any point in time.
Fruits and vegetables are products that people consume all year round, so producers of fresh produce can enjoy sustainable earnings. The importance of marketing strategy for fruits is crucial for traders because of its vulnerability. In order to be successful in this type of business, you need effective marketing strategies that will allow you to not only promote your products but also educate consumers about the benefits of fresh produce.
When it comes to buying fruits, you need to pay attention to the fact that this is a marketing strategy for fruit for sellers. With the help of package labels, you can supply the necessary nutritional information about fruits and vegetables to your customers. Micronutrients and macronutrients are listed on standard nutrition labels for fruit and vegetables. Additionally, these labels indicate the size of the serving and the number of calories per serving. You can also include potential health benefits on the label of your products. In addition to gender, age, culture, ethnicity, region, and others, buyer motivations are quite complex. The previous chapter demonstrated that consumer attitudes are not uniform. Those who have a basic attitude are the first group. The traditional way of eating is to eat generic fruits and vegetables.
Marketing online fresh fruits
When developing recipes for your products, you should consult professionals such as chefs, dietitians, and others. You will be able to include some of the recipes on the packaging of specific fruits and vegetables once you have consolidated all the possible recipes. It is still possible to be creative if the packaging is too small to include a detailed recipe, but you could use a QR code or specific link that directs the consumer to the detailed recipe and meal preparation steps of the product.
Many businesses today are drawn to online marketing and this is no exception to this rule. The marketing strategy for fruits is also different from the large markets of these products according to the amount of demand. The ability to sell more fresh produce can be enhanced by maintaining an online presence. Photographs and videos can be used to share recipes made from your products online. Moreover, blog posts and e-books with cooking tips and full recipes for main courses, side dishes, salads, and desserts can be optimized online, as well.
Cookbook authors, bloggers, social media influencers, and hosts of cooking shows that use fresh produce can be your partners. Your business can benefit by partnering with them. In exchange for a prize, you can organize a contest that encourages consumers to create and submit their favorite recipes using your products.
Buying decisions are also influenced by other factors. Ultimately, buyers are looking for satisfaction. The nutritional value of fruits and vegetables is enhanced by the variety of tastes, textures, colors, and aromas that they offer.
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Your consumers can enjoy more value out of their purchased products if you pre-package your fruits and vegetables based on available resources. The pre-cutting of vegetables is one option for prepackaging. Washing, peeling, and cutting vegetables can take a lot of time for some consumers. Therefore, you may consider pre-cutting some vegetables if you plan to sell them.
Prepackaging also includes single-serve snacks, meals, and party trays. The majority of single-serve snacks consist of precut and prewashed vegetables and dips such as hummus, crackers, or cheese. Typical party trays, on the other hand, include vegetable crudités and ranch or onion dip, fruit and cheese platters, and fruit platters with sweet dips.
Some consumers would prefer to cook at home without spending much time in the kitchen. You can help them by selling meal kits, heat-and-eat meals, and fully prepared food. Consumers can prepare their meals with the help of meal kits, which include pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to prepare them. Alternatively, heat-and-eat meals are ready-to-eat meals that can be heated at the consumer’s convenience. In addition, customers who would like to eat immediately can prepare hot and cold recipes with fresh fruits and vegetables.
Fresh produce retailers like fruits and vegetable retailers can enjoy sustainable profits since these are products people consume all year round. You should equip yourself with effective marketing strategies if you are planning on entering this type of business. They can not only promote your products but also educate consumers about the consumption of fresh produce.
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Effective Marketing Strategies for Fresh Produce
People love to have fresh fruits and vegetables, no matter which country they are from. There has always been a high demand for fresh produce worldwide. However, with the passing days as people tend towards healthier eating, the popularity of veggies is rising gradually.
And this rising popularity is providing the vegetable and fruit sectors more importance. Thus, to fulfill the uprising demand a well planned effective marketing strategy is very much required if you are involved in the fresh produce business.
Some basic strategies include assembling of produce, primary processing, and finally distributing.
Along with it, the adoption of better post-harvest exercises like sorting, washing, trimming, grading, and protective & attractive packaging also helps to increase the sales realization.
However, this article aims to provide a complete guide on some effective marketing strategies. That will help you to meet the needs of the generation successfully and increase your sales as well.
Identification of Customers and their Needs
It is very important to identify your target audience. And then what they demand the most. Selecting and selling mostly the type of fresh produce people want could be beneficial for your store.
Since people nowadays believe in healthy living, they demand mostly for fresh seasonal veggies and fruits that are rich in vitamins, proteins, etc. Therefore, the foremost marketing strategy one needs to follow is tracing their customer’s needs.
The packaging is another very crucial point that needs to be taken care of. Nowadays, people believe in safety and purity. Hence, most of them avoid buying unpackaged veggies or fruits. Thus proper packaging is very important that will keep the product enclosed.
It also reduces the risk of breakage during transportation, spoilage from dust, and keeps it fresh as if brought from the farm. One such healthy and fresh food distributors are North Bay Produce that produces some of the best fresh produce and distributes them to the market.
The name of the brand also matters most of the time. It helps to distinguish the product from others. There are certain renowned brands that people can trust blindly. Also, it helps in forming a distant image of the seller in the entire market.
One most significant selling point for fresh produce is that they are mostly recommended by physicians, dieticians, or sometimes by consumers themselves. Since everybody wants to be healthy and fresh, products are rich in fiber & other essential nutrients and low in calories.
Thus, they prefer to buy products that include nutrition labeling. Standard nutrition labels provide information on the serving size and the number of calories per serving fresh produce contains.
Suppliers can also include some information regarding the potential health benefits and a label of authenticity by a renowned organization.
Recipes Printed on Packages
Another very interesting marketing strategy that could be used is printing recipes on produce packages. Since most of the fresh produce is sold packaged, teenagers or people who are staying alone and don’t know much about cooking find it very helpful.
The packaging can provide tips and recipes that can help consumers prepare tasty vegetables and fruit dishes. The best portion about this strategy is that it can be applied even in minimal packaging by providing some links on how to find recipes online.
Sell Pre-Cut Vegetable
As everybody nowadays has become so busy in their day-to-day lives, it has become very difficult to spend a large amount of time cooking. Thus, they crave things that will not only make their work simple but also save time and energy.
Selling pre-cut vegetables helps consumers by avoiding the work of washing, peeling, and cutting. For such customers, pre-cut, prepackaged produce is the best to go with as they can jump into cooking straight with such products.
Providing Meal Kits
These types of meal services help to increase the demand for the products. A meal kit is a way that allows the customer to prepare their food from scratch.
That is, along with the package of fresh produce suppliers, it can include pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step instructions in the meal kit.
It makes the cooking process easy and convenient for consumers; thus, it can be an efficient strategy to increase the demand for fresh produce packages.
Sometimes, gifts also help to attract customers. Suppliers can provide serving tools, cooking equipment, or dishes with fresh produce. It will help to enhance the beauty of vegetables and fruits while they are served on attractive bowls and platters.
This strategy can be executed successfully by contracting with the manufacturers of serving pieces, grocers, and suppliers. This way, they can make their fresh produce stuff more attractive and appealing.
Several renowned names or celebrities can also be used as influencers or mediums for selling your fresh produce.
There are various cookbook authors, social media influencers, television show hosts, vloggers, or bloggers, who might be interested in forming partnerships with fresh produce retailers and suppliers. Working with influential personalities can establish a fresh produce business better.
Promotion refers to activities that can be performed to make people aware of your products. Manufacturers are selling fresh produce in different forms, which is something to be known by customers only then they would show their interest.
As mentioned in the above point, specific influencers can be used for advertising or promoting your product over several media platforms. Apart from this, there are sales promotion, personal selling, etc. techniques that are counted as very effective marketing strategies.
Pricing is another crucial factor that requires special attention. The prices must be fixed based on the market condition. And for this, one needs to follow surveys to understand the market demand & situation and then fix a price that will convince the buyers to buy your products.
To conclude, above-enlisted ways can be treated as some of the most effective marketing strategies for fresh produce. That will help you to increase your sales in no time.
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Fruit and Vegetable Marketing for Small-Scale and Part-Time Growers
Some farmers, such as cash grain farmers or dairy farmers, have large, well-established markets. They can use existing organizations to perform the marketing function for them, or they can band together, form a cooperative, and market their products jointly. Small-scale fruit and vegetable growers generally have more difficulty finding established markets; therefore, they usually develop marketing systems tailored to their unique situations.
Fruits and vegetables are produced seasonally, but the market requires products throughout the year. For many decades, this problem of matching product availability with consumer demand was solved in two ways:
- Selling fresh products during harvest and shortly thereafter
- Processing the rest to meet demand during the rest of the year
As technology improved and consumer incomes increased, it became possible to provide fresh produce year-round. American consumers now expect fresh tomatoes, strawberries, and sweet corn every month of the year. In addition, a strong demand remains for processed fruits and vegetables.
Increased consumer incomes and year-round demand for fresh produce force retailers or their representatives to establish buying points both in different growing areas of the United States and in foreign countries. Some retailers contract year-round with fresh fruit and vegetable packers, who may in turn contract with growers. Contracts and large-volume buying practices enable packers to obtain sufficient quantities of individual products.
Large fresh fruit and vegetable packers may contract with growers in several different production regions to ensure that fresh fruits and vegetables are available every week of the year. These packers generally contract only in regions with a large number of growers. Further, they contract mainly with the largest growers, even in concentrated production regions. Some packers ensure supplies by growing commodities themselves. Large retailers and packers are unlikely to purchase products directly from a single, small-scale grower, especially a grower in a remote production area.
As a small-scale fresh fruit and vegetable grower, you may consider selling directly to retailers. Although some chain stores and independent retailers have buy-local programs for fresh produce, such stores and programs are not common. You must develop your own marketing system. In effect, you must become the grower, packer, and wholesaler.
To stay competitive, processors must keep unit costs low, so large corporations generally do the processing. Many of the smaller local processors have found it difficult to compete with these corporations and have gone out of business. Almost all processors contract with growers for their raw-product needs. Over the past twenty to thirty years, most processors have moved their plants to major production areas. Only a few processing firms are left in the Northeast. Therefore, it may be difficult to locate processors interested in buying from small-scale growers. If a processor does indicate a willingness to buy, insist on a purchase contract with the processor before planting the crop.
You may wish to process your own fruits and vegetables. This is how many of today's processors entered the business decades ago. If you are considering a processing operation, contact your state Department of Agriculture to learn more about food regulations pertaining to the processing, packaging, and labeling of your product. It will probably be impossible for you to process and market produce at costs as low as those incurred by larger processors. As a result, it may be very difficult to compete for sales with your processed fruits and vegetables through conventional retail outlets. Consider processing specialty items with strong local or regional demand where you will be able to charge a "premium" price.
Sometimes a small processor will process fruits or vegetables for a grower on a contract basis, especially if the product being produced does not interfere with its own processing requirements. Of course, its busy time is often when you need to process your product, so this works best for something with an especially early or late processing season.
Selling processed fruits or vegetables may, in addition, increase your exposure to product liability suits. Check with an attorney and an insurance carrier to determine the degree of liability exposure and to secure the proper level of protection.
Evaluating Market Demand
Larger growers, particularly those located in major production areas, can pursue either of the two traditional marketing alternatives: wholesale fresh marketing or processing. Small-scale growers who find these marketing avenues closed to them will need to take a direct-to-consumer approach. This requires thorough research of the market and customer behavior before planning crop production.
Some farmers generate profits by planting first and then looking for a market, but this is extremely risky for fruit and vegetable growers. There are far more failures than success stories in this situation. If you are a new grower, or an established one planning to produce a new item, you should first attempt to evaluate the market demand for the product and then decide which direct marketing channel(s) will best meet the needs of your consumers. Your estimates of profitability should include the marketing channel costs as well as production costs.
Small-scale growers should collect three types of information before deciding to produce and market fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Determine and define the geographic area where you will market fresh fruits and vegetables. Identify potential customers before you investigate consumer demand.
- Assess the level of unfulfilled demand among consumers within the defined marketing area. It is advisable to estimate the amount that consumers (buyers) within that market buy at present. In the process, you will gain insight into how they might be better served.
- Consider the competitive structure of your market. Knowing who your potential competitors are, where they are located, and what services they provide are important pieces of information for you as a new grower-marketer. Note potential competitors who might have marketing advantages (lower costs, better locations, and higher-quality produce) or may provide potential consumers with similar products.
You must find out as much as possible about consumers who may buy your product(s). What products are your potential consumers buying, where are they buying, and when are these products available? Visiting other areas in your state or the United States can help you better understand consumer behavior and produce-marketing practices. Extension personnel are a valuable source of information about the local marketing situation. In addition, Extension offices often provide training workshops and seminars specifically for direct marketers. Data on customer demographics is collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. This information can be found online at census.gov .
Determine the likely impact of increased production on future selling prices. If you place more produce on the market, and the products are not of different quality or do not meet some other "unmet need" for which consumers are willing to pay a higher price, then it is likely that prices will drop from current levels. An expected price is a vital piece of information for planning purposes. There is no simple, reliable way of predicting local market prices, but such information is very important to growers. Estimate prices by considering all the available information and using good judgment. When using these estimated prices for planning, remember to include marketing costs and the cost of unsold product.
Introducing a new product to consumers and getting them to buy it is difficult because most will not be familiar with it or its potential uses. The learning process takes time. A new item may provide you with a foothold in a market that will grow rapidly. However, it is more likely to grow slowly, which may result in product waste during the first few years. If fruits or vegetables are commonly consumed, you must find out whether buyers will increase purchases when more is grown and sold in the manner you choose.
Supermarkets are major suppliers of fresh fruits and vegetables but generally are not strong competitors for sales of in-season crops. For example, supermarkets sell very little sweet corn when it is available at farmers markets or along roadsides. Other direct marketers, whether they are pick-your-own operations, roadside markets, farmers markets, or curb markets, are your primary competition. Be aware that entry and exit from the market can occur very quickly. In recent years direct marketers have expressed concern about the increased number of competitors and the possibility of profit loss in existing operations.
Here are some important questions that you as a grower-marketer must answer:
- Who are the likely consumers of your produce and where do these consumers live?
- How many people live within your marketing area?
- Are consumers currently buying a particular fruit or vegetable?
- How much of the product(s) do your potential customers currently use? Is this use seasonal?
- What prices are consumers paying for high-quality products?
- Are consumers adequately served at present?
If consumers in the area are being adequately served, here are some additional questions:
- Can you do the job better and draw part of the market away from competitors?
- Can the quantity that consumers purchase be increased by providing better quality than is now available?
- Will your anticipated production come at a time when little else is offered for sale?
- What level of quality must you produce to meet the need unfulfilled demands of consumers?
- How must you prepare and package the produce? What size containers are most popular? What marketing costs will be incurred?
Selecting a Direct Marketing Channel
Several factors must be considered when choosing a direct marketing channel. Location can have a major impact on an enterprise's profitability because location affects the direct marketing channel used as well as the ability to attract customers. Furthermore, some direct marketing channels, such as pick-your-own operations, work well for some products but not as well for others.
Bringing fruits and vegetables to market requires special handling. To preserve quality and maintain marketability, each crop must be harvested, prepared for market, packaged, and shipped.
Any direct marketing of produce may increase your exposure to risk. Your farm owner's insurance policy may offer limited product liability insurance; however, additional coverage should be considered. Check with your insurance salesperson to determine you level of exposure. More information on agricultural business insurance can be found Agricultural Business Insurance .
Small-scale growers use four different direct marketing channels. These channels vary in the amount of labor and capital the marketer must provide and in the location of the marketplace.
- Roadside marketing is by far the most common direct marketing system. The system requires some capital investment in a facility, and you have to provide the harvesting, market preparation, and retailing labor. Customer relationships are extremely important, but they are more conventional than the relationship between a clerk and a customer. Location is very important for roadside marketing. More information on developing and operating a successful roadside market can be found in Developing a Roadside Market .
- Farmers markets or "curb markets" are similar to roadside markets, but the retailing function is simply moved closer to the consumer. This enables you to offset the disadvantages of your production location. One advantage is the generation of high levels of customer traffic. Staffing needs are simple to plan because operations generally occur only during specified hours. One big disadvantage, however, is the need to predict sales so that enough produce can be harvested and prepared each market day. At a farmers market you generally cannot replenish stock by quickly harvesting more, which can sometimes be done at roadside stands. Also, a rainy farmers market day can result in unsold stock that cannot be sold on the next market day. In addition, farmers markets typically have several sellers on the site with the same products. This can be good or bad for you. The other vendors can help attract customers, but they may also be direct competition. You should look at the market to see how your products will compete.
- Pick-your-own, sometimes referred to as U-pick, operations require the least grower labor and capital for market facilities. Your customers perform a large amount of the marketing function and do the harvesting. This method works well for some commodities and in some locations, but not for all crops or for all growers. It usually works best for fruits or vegetables that are purchased in fairly large quantities for home processing. Customers who want to buy a quart of strawberries or a half-dozen ears of sweet corn for the evening meal are not likely to buy from a pick-your-own operation (although some growers have a limited amount of already-picked produce available for purchase). Also, your ability to deal with the public is an important consideration. As a U-pick marketer you must be willing to accept a certain amount of unintentional damage caused by customers. Picker instruction and supervision are tasks certain growers do not handle well. As with roadside marketing, location is very important in pick-your-own operations. There is a limit to how far people will drive to your farm.
- Subscription farming is essentially grower contracting. This is also sometimes called community-supported agriculture (CSA). You "contract" directly with the consumer to produce and deliver a specific vegetable or fruit. This system may require maintenance of a delivery vehicle, good consumer relations, and availability of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the season. This approach may be a good way to profit from special attributes of your produce, such as products with ethnic appeal, organically grown produce, and gourmet items. The success of subscription farming often will depend on a long growing season and imagination in having something of value for the consumer throughout the season. By working with other growers, you can provide your CSA customers with a wider variety of produce than you can grow by yourself. This will help strengthen your business, reduce your risk, and support other local farmers.
Quality Is the Key to Marketing Success
Price and quality are synonymous in fruit and vegetable production. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to know what is meant by "high quality" and quality judgment often varies from year to year. Federal grade standards do not exist for all horticultural crops and those that have them are often not very specific. Often there is only one recognized quality grade, U.S. No. 1, which means the produce is of "good average quality." Buyers and consumers, however, often have additional criteria by which they judge produce quality, including flavor, ripeness, odor, cleanliness, and the presence of insects and foreign material.
Proper disease management, harvest practices (including picker instruction and supervision), and postharvest handling are critical to marketing success. Cooling produce to remove field heat and improve shelf life is especially important. Treatments to reduce decay may be another important consideration. Sorting and washing of some fruits and vegetables can also be done to help maintain quality and improve appearance. For certain crops, such as small fruits and other delicate produce, sorting and/or washing is not an option; harvest crews must be well trained and quality continuously monitored to ensure a marketable crop.
Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and Good Handling Practices (GHPs) are voluntary programs that you may wish to pursue for your operation. The idea behind these programs is to ensure a safer food system in light of previous outbreaks of foodborne illnesses resulting from contaminated products. Also, several major food distribution chains are beginning to require GAP- and GHP-certified products from their producers. Many of the requirements concern worker hygiene, use of manure, and the quality of the water supply used for irrigation and washing produce.
These programs will require an inspection from your state Department of Agriculture, and there are fees associated with the inspection. Prior to an inspection you will need to develop and implement a food safety plan and designate someone to oversee this plan. One component of the certification is that you will need to have your water supplies checked at least twice each year. Another component is field sanitation for harvest workers, among other considerations. For more information about the GAP and GHP programs, consult your local extension office, your state Department of Agriculture, or USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service Web site ( www.ams.usda.gov ; search for "Good Handling Practices").
For More Information
- Bartsch, J. A., and R. Kline. Produce Handling for Direct Marketing . Ithaca, N.Y.: Northeast Agricultural Engineering Service, 1992.
- Dunn, J. W., J. W. Berry, L. F. Kime, R. M. Harsh, and J. K. Harper. Developing a Roadside Market . University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, 2006.
- Dunn, J.W., J. K. Harper, and L. F. Kime. Cooperatives . University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, 2005.
- German, C., et al. Guide to Planning the Farm Retail Market . Newark: University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Service Agricultural Experiment Station, 1994.
- How, R. B. Marketing Fresh Fruits and Vegetables . New York: Springer-Velag, 1991.
- Kime, L. F., J. A. Adamik, E. E. Gantz, and J. K. Harper. Agricultural Business Insurance . University Park, PA.: The Pennsylvania State University, 2004.
- Kime, L. F., W. W. McGee, S. M. Bogash, and J. K. Harper. Developing a Business Plan . University Park: The Pennsylvania State University, 2004.
- Lee, A. W., and P. Foreman. Backyard Market Gardening: The Entrepreneurs Guide to Selling What You Grow . Buena Vista, Va.: Good Earth Publications, 1995.
- Selders, A. W., et al. Facilities for Roadside Markets . Ithaca, N.Y.: Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Services, 1992.
- Tronstad, R. Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook . Tucson: University of Arizona, 2007.
- Wilson, C. L., ed. Intelligent and Active Packaging for Fruits and Vegetables . Florence, Ky.: Taylor and Francis, 2007.
- ERS/USDA Farm and Commodity Policy Program
- USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
- USDA Fruit and Vegetable Market News
Prepared by James Dunn, professor of agricultural economics; Jayson Harper, professor of agricultural economics; and Lynn Kime, senior extension associate.
This publication was developed by the Small-scale and Part-time Farming Project at Penn State with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Extension Service.
- Farm Management
- Risk Management
- Production Economics
- Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
You may also be interested in ...
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Personalize your experience with penn state extension and stay informed of the latest in agriculture..
How to Start a Fruit Market Business
Fruit markets offer customers an inexpensive option for purchasing fresh and local fruits and produce.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .
Learn how to start your own Fruit Market Business and whether it is the right fit for you.
Start a fruit market business by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Fruit Market Business
- Form your Fruit Market Business into a Legal Entity
- Register your Fruit Market Business for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Fruit Market Business
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Fruit Market Business
- Get Fruit Market Business Insurance
- Define your Fruit Market Business Brand
- Create your Fruit Market Business Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple guide to starting your fruit market business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
How much can you charge customers?
What will you name your business.
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What are the costs involved in opening a fruit market business?
There are a few options for the type of fruit market you might open. Costs will vary accordingly, but should be relatively inexpensive to get started. If you set up a roadside stand, your overhead costs will involve the construction of the fruit bins, a temporary structure to cover your produce from the elements and the fruits you are selling. If you are operating from a farmer’s market or other permanent location, you will need to include the monthly rent on a stand location or an actual brick and mortar location. For all types of locations, your fruit costs must also be factored in, whether you grow your own or buy wholesale from other farmers. In addition, you will need a business operating license and business insurance.
What are the ongoing expenses for a fruit market business?
A majority of your operating costs will reflect the cost to stock your shelves and bins. If you are buying your fruits from farms and wholesalers, your overhead will be the market costs. If you are selling your own fruits from your farm and/or orchard, your costs will also reflect the money spent cultivating and growing your products.
Who is the target market?
Your target market will consist of consumers looking for fresh fruits and produce at low prices. You will attract both residential shoppers, as well as chefs and cooks, looking for fresh or local alternatives.
How does a fruit market business make money?
A fruit market makes its money from the sales of fruit and produce to retail customers as well as local and regional restaurants.
Pricing for the various types of fruits you sell will depend on seasonal availability and market or competitor pricing. You will want to research how much other fruit and produce markets are charging and look to match or beat those prices, when possible, while still maintaining profitability for your own business.
How much profit can a fruit market business make?
Fruit market profitability can fluctuate, depending on your location within the country, fruit and produce availability, and customer support. Annually, profits can range anywhere from $25,000-60,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
In addition to selling fruits and produce, you can consider selling related foods and spices. Honey, cane syrup, fresh herbs, canned fruits, jams and jellies, and baked goods such as breads and cookies are also good ways to increase your sales. Ask customers what they want or are looking for and aim to fill that niche. Often, customers are searching for unique items not available in supermarkets or chain stores. Your market can begin to service the needs of the public and support locally owned business growth in your area.
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Fruit Market Business Name Generator
If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.
When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability .
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
Find a Domain Now
Powered by godaddy.com, step 2: form a legal entity.
The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your fruit market business is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You
Two such reliable services:
You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.
Learn how to get an EIN in our What is an EIN guide or find your existing EIN using our EIN lookup guide.
Small Business Taxes
Depending on which business structure you choose, you might have different options for how your business will be taxed. For example, some LLCs could benefit from being taxed as an S corporation (S corp).
You can learn more about small business taxes in these guides:
- Sole Proprietorship vs LLC
- LLC vs Corporation
- LLC vs S Corp
- How to Start an S Corp
- S Corp vs C Corp
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .
Additionally, learning how to build business credit can help you get credit cards and other financing in your business's name (instead of yours), better interest rates, higher lines of credit, and more.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Open net 30 accounts
Net 30 accounts are used to establish and build business credit as well as increase business cash flow. With a net 30 account, businesses buy goods and repay the full balance within a 30-day term.
NetMany net 30 credit vendors report to the major business credit bureaus (Dun & Bradstreet, Experian Business, and Equifax Business Credit). This is how businesses build business credit so they can qualify for credit cards and other lines of credit.
Recommended : Read our best net 30 vendors , guide and start building business credit.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
Federal Business Licensing Requirements
There are federal regulations regarding what can and cannot be added to, sold as, and processed with food. Attached is a resource from the Food and Drug Administration detailing the process of starting a food business: How to Start a Food Business
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a fruit market business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits .
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses .
For information about local licenses and permits:
- Check with your town, city or county clerk’s office
- Get assistance from one of the local associations listed in US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources .
Certificate of Occupancy
A fruit market business is generally run out of a storefront or standalone . Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location :
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a fruit market business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location :
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your fruit market business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
When selling food, you will need licensing from a local health department; all establishments serving food are required to pass a health inspection. Tips for faring well on a health inspections
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Learn more about General Liability Insurance .
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
Recommended: Learn what business insurance for your Fruit Market Business will cost.
Business Insurance for Fruit Market Business
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a fruit market business
As mentioned previously, advertising and marketing via social media and a business website gives you access to a large audience. You, therefore, have to make sure you make the most of your opportunities. Kink your website or Facebook and Instagram accounts with other local related retailers and entrepreneurs and any local or regional organizations who are active in your community. Remember, the idea with all advertising is to familiarize the public with your “brand” or name. Frequent activity on social media will help build the recognition factor and will help direct people to your location.
There is also the option of creating and buying signage and billboard space, if you have the finances in your budget. You can even print or paint your own signs as a-frame and roadside bandit and/or lawn signs. These can be quite effective locally, especially if you choose to operate a roadside fruit market. Either way, the additional signage will help potential customers find your location and shop your wares.
How to keep customers coming back
Your customers are your business’ life blood. Without a consistent stream of customers, your operation will suffer. That’s why it’s so important to build individual relationships with your regulars. By creating dialogue and familiarity with your customers, you will in turn build trust and a strong reputation for great customer service.
The other part of this equation is your fruit and produce quality. You should constantly strive to have quality fruits, a good selection, and fair, competitive pricing. Inspect your harvest or shipments and work as a quality control element for what you offer your customers. And, as a reward for their continued patronage, offer your return customers pricing specials or seasonal “freebies”, now and then. Small concessions can lead to big wins.
Still unsure about what kind of business you want to start? Check out the latest Small Business Trends to help inspire you.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
Using our website building guides , the process will be simple and painless and shouldn’t take you any longer than 2-3 hours to complete.
Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .
Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Start a Fruit Market Business in your State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.
Is this Business Right For You?
Individuals who have farming backgrounds or are currently farmers, have worked in grocery or produce markets, or have a passion for supplying fresh, local fruits and produce to the public will potentially find the greatest success in this business. It is critical that you understand the product you’re selling and have the connections in place to offer the best possible selections and quality.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a fruit market business?
Day to day activities at a fruit market are dominated by customer service and re-stocking your store’s fruit and produce. If you are selling fruit grown by other farmers and orchards, coordinating deliveries and orders will also be part of the daily schedule. If you are selling your own farm’s fruits, harvesting and stocking will be a large part of your day.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful fruit market business?
A successful fruit market owner should have great experience in the cultivation and preparation of fruits and vegetables. Education in or time spent working in the agriculture industry will be quite beneficial.
Since you will be interacting with the general public, experience in retail or grocery store management will also be helpful. You should also have experience in small business finances.
What is the growth potential for a fruit market business?
More and more customers are searching for healthy and cost effective options for their groceries. A fruit market offers both of these options to consumers. Fruit markets tend to also be fairly low cost to run. Additionally, many communities are trending towards support for local and regional businesses. As long as you have a regular supply of fruits to sell, growth potential should steadily rise.
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Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor.
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a fruit market business?
Advertising is always a necessity for alerting the public of your presence. Make the most of social media and a business website. Both mediums give the ability to spread word of your business, both locally and beyond your regional area.
Consider joining fruit and produce associations, such as the National Association of Farmer’s Market Nutrition Programs or the Produce Marketing Association . Affiliation with these types of groups helps establish your reputation, as well as a networking system among other farmers and fruit and produce market owners.
How and when to build a team
For the fruit market, one or two people will be able to effectively run the shop successfully. You may want to add a few more employees, as your business grows, or you open additional locations. It’s best to operate with as few employees as you can, when first getting started, in order to maximize profits.
Get more ideas with our Business Ideas Generator .
Check out our How to Start a Business page.
Sign up at the Business Center to access useful tools for your business.
- Got Produce greenhouse franchising
Real World Examples
- The Produce Station Ann Arbor, MI
- Kens Fruit Market Grand Rapids, MI
- What You Need to Start a Fruit and Vegetable Business
Related Business Ideas
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Seven effective marketing tools to improve fresh fruit and vegetable sales
Fresh fruit and vegetable growers are confronted currently with a situation of low prices and increasing costs. Margins become smaller, to the point that they make production unattractive as a business. Some even consider shifting to an alternative business. To correct this situation there are basically two alternatives: a) increase sales, through alternative channels or products b) make my production more efficient, that is, produce more with less Several marketing and produce quality tools allow producers to maintain a competitive advantage. Here we list seven easy and effective marketing techniques that can have an impact in improving the financial results of the fresh produce business in the short term. 1) Show your clients how they can benefit from increased sales through point-of-sale retail tests Real point-of-sale market tests will demonstrate how certain attractive and innovative products will increase sales per sqm. and profitability. A price-demand curve can also be tested to optimize revenue 2) Provide additional information together with the product For certain generic crops, it is hard to differentiate based on product only. This is more often the case with vegetables. Providing additional information with the product to the retail customer and end-consumer allows for a certain differentiation and can weigh in the purchase decision. 3) Establish a good harvest forecasting system A reliable harvest forecasting system allows the scheduling of sales and special offers with retail clients. This forecasting system allows the integration of the client in the harvest planning, smoothing out production peaks and avoiding excess inventories and old fruit in storage. Efficient forecasting systems collect field information periodically regarding fruit evolution and available volumes. These models are corrected daily, inputting field temperature and other data. 4) Work together with clients to program sales during the whole season Linked to the point above, a good forecasting system allows for sales planning and accurate delivery of agreed upon volumes and quality, making happy clients. 5) Deliver the fruit at the optimum ripeness at the retail store, always Optimum maturity at harvests maximizes field productivity (kilograms per hectare) as well as fruit quality. Ripe fruit has more sugars, better color and more juiciness. Leading producers can deliver fruit at the optimum ripeness through adequate harvest, packing, cooling and handling systems. 6) Program production according to varieties and geographical areas Each variety has a seasonal production peak, depending on their genetic characteristics and day.degree requirements. Additionally, playing with farm locations at different altitude and latitude allows the advancement or delay of these production peaks. A well planned production plays with varieties and farm geography and smooths out production curves. This allows a stable flow of produce into packingstations and the markets, avoiding production peaks and depressed prices. 7) Invest in applied R&D and utilize R&D as a differentiation and marketing tool Applied R&D is the definitive source of competitive advantage for fresh produce businesses. The horticultural sector lags behind the implementation of some technologies developed up to 20 years ago. Small investments in R&D applied to specific problems can give a competitive advantage to a particular fresh produce business. Examples can be found in field applications, harvest techniques, packingstation equipment, packaging, storage and ripening facilities, etc... These seven techniques do not require a huge investment and are within the existing production processes and are easy to implement. They can be adopted in a short time period. The aplication of several of these measures has a cumulative effect in fruit quality and customer satisfaction, and therefore increased sales and profits. Copyright 2011 Dr. Manuel Madrid [email protected]
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