Monday, August 10, 2009

The Power of Choice

As consumers we all feel empowered by choice. And when it comes to food, options are never a bad thing, at least in my opinion. For a grower involved in retail fruit and vegetable marketing one way to empower the consumer is by doing a pick-your-own operation, through which customers walk around your orchard and are able to pick out what they want. The idea of pick-your-own has been around for many years and some agricultural businesses have been pretty successful with it. However, the liabilities that come with letting people roam around your farm can prove to be too costly for many growers. But, there are many simpler ways that you can empower your customers. One of these easy little techniques was brought to my attention this past Saturday at the Gettysburg Farmers' Market.

While I was strolling around the market I came across a booth that had many different varieties of cherry tomatoes in several different colors and sizes. As I was trying to decide what variety to buy, the woman behind the counter said “here, just make up your own pint”. So, I grabbed the empty pint and got to work choosing my tomatoes. Something as simple as that actually made my purchasing experience much more fun. I walked away a satisfied customer with the exact combination of tomatoes that I wanted; a few smaller ones, a few oranges ones, a few white ones, etc. Though doing something like this may seem like common sense to many of you; don’t underestimate the power of choice when it comes to any aspect of marketing. Take some time to think about whether there is an item at your market that you could make more customizable for your customers.

Photo courtesy of Farm to Chef Gettysburg

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