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Friday, December 17, 2021

Farmers Markets

Have followed farmers markets for some time, reinvention needed?  Good discussion.

Do farmers markets need to be reinvented for the digital age?  in Retailwire,   Good discussion.

Small and medium-sized independent farms have discovered online selling in recent years with the arrival of numerous farm-to-door delivery apps, possibly threatening the popularity of farmers markets. 

Many farmers markets were already struggling due to over-saturation prior to the pandemic. A March 2019 article from NPR noted that the number of farmers markets exploded from 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,600 in 2019. Crowds were heading to the bigger markets for variety and one-stop shopping, forcing scores of smaller ones to fold.

Newer competition has been coming as well from subscription-driven community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs and home delivery options from Amazon.com, Instacart and Blue Apron.

With the pandemic, the temporary closing of farmers markets and restaurants forced farms to pivot online to capitalize on the resurgence in home cooking. In many cases, the pandemic accelerated the use of local, direct-to-consumer food systems, such as Barn2Door, Farm to People, Our Harvest, Harvie and WhatsGood, that were already gaining traction. A number of farmers markets set up their own online shops.

Going online can help farms tap directly into the broader growth in online grocery in addition to reaching customers who can’t frequent farmers markets. Online, farms can offer a wider variety of products versus their farmers market stall while avoiding waking up well before dawn and spending the day in inclement weather.   .... '

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