Monday, July 16, 2007

Promoting Your Market

One very important key to running a successful market it to promote your market throughout your community.

There are a variety of ways to promote and advertise your market that we have put together at the Missouri Dept. of Agriculture. These promotional tools have worked for other markets in the past and might also work for your own community farmers’ market.

(Photo: Kids Growing Center at the Fair Grove Farmers' Market, see larger photo)

Pricing at Your Market and Displaying Produce
1.) Post the prices of all sale items on nice card stock
2.) Don’t try competing with other market sellers (Make your prices competitive)
3.) Statistics show quality is more frequently cited as a reason for shopping at farmers’ markets than favorable prices.
4.) Make your table of produce attractive (place contrasting colors across the table, for instance: red peppers beside zucchini, unhusked corn besides carrots, and be sure all produce is clean with no dirt)
5.) Offer more than 1 package size
6.) Hang a farm sign with names and phone numbers at your vendors stall

Promotional/Marketing Ideas That Have Worked
1.) Cooking Demos by local chefs where the food is made from market produce, offer samples
2.) Growing Kids Center (Activity for kids during the market…have a Master Gardener volunteer to set-up booth for kids)
3.) Other activities like face painting, balloons, petting zoo, story time
4.) Music and different festivals incorporated into the market
5.) Recipe cards from the vendors
6.) Signage directing traffic to market location
7.) Coupons for plentiful produce (vendors give coupons for produce they might have an abundance of)
8.) Opening Day Ceremony
9.) Develop a market newsletter that tells visitors to the market any news about the market and do profiles on the producers (can also encourage visitors to sign up to receive news alerts by email about the market)
10.) Send news and photos of the market to your local paper for print
11.) Develop nutritional educational activities for children at the market or offer story time
12.) Invite elected officials/representatives to the market
13.) Weekly promotional fruits and vegetable; have samples, provide recipes
14.) Printed material for market including: permanent signs, banners, posters and flyers displayed and distributed in community
15.) Vendor Gift Baskets: Each market fill a basket of market items full and raffle off the basket
16.) Work with 4-H and FFA students to help promote market
17.) Market information table (Set-up a table in the center of market where the market master sits to answer questions from visitors to market. Display information brochures and fliers about the market, canning and master gardening classes, recipe cards, fundraising information, etc.)

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