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Consider That Unconventional Market

The best food entrepreneurs know which markets they should be in and optimize for. If they have a niche product, they should only be in markets and channels where their product will get traction and will be supported by the store and the store’s customers. But, in the absence of all the data entrepreneurs need to fully understand their customer (including sales data), it may not be clear where is the best market for their products.

Food entrepreneurs, like all entrepreneurs, are scrappy and resourceful. In-keeping with these traits, we encourage food entrepreneurs to explore different markets and channels as they are building up their sales and learning about what their customers think and want. So, we might encourage entrepreneurs to start trialing their products at farmers markets, even if we think they can’t get to scale with farmers markets alone. And, sometimes certain products or certain classes of products make more sense in certain markets than others. For example, heavy or perishable food items make less sense to sell online due to the shipping costs and logistics involved.

One frequently overlooked marketplace that is important in many rural areas is the auction. Our podcast this week is about the Chesterhill Produce Auction, a social enterprise of the Appalachian Ohio based nonprofit organization Rural Action. The produce auction provides a market for produce where the farmer has a minimal time commitment to deliver the product while still making some sales. And, the auction’s seasonal averages show that prices hold strong despite this structure, even in comparison to farmers’ market prices, providing a needed channel for produce that would otherwise go to waste.

Most shoppers still get the bulk of their food from brick and mortar grocery stores. But, we encourage food entrepreneurs to think outside the box in terms of how they reach customers, including unconventional markets if their location or customer data suggests it is a good idea.


And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…

Food and Beverage Business Models

Business Model Insights

Raising Capital

Raising Capital

Grocery Store Shopping

CPG/National Brands

Grocery Store Produce Section

Market Trends

Regenerative Agriculture

Farming and AgTech

Mergers and Acquisitions

Deals/M&A

Events

Industry Events

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