Why Retail Should Matter To You As a Grower [Opinion]

As a grower, I’m sure you already understand that if there’s one thing people are always going to need, it’s food. Therefore if there’s one industry people are always going to have to count on, it’s agriculture. It would seem then that based on these dynamics, the power would naturally rest in the hands of the grower. As we all know — unfortunately for agriculture — that is rarely, if ever, the case.

headshot_LA_WR

Agriculture is constantly at the mercy of outside influences including weather, pest pressure, market conditions, etc., that dictate what growers plant, when they plant it, and how they plant it. In ag, we often get hung up on bugs, politics, and weather, and consider them to be the driving forces of the industry, but we’re doing ourselves a disservice by not shifting a greater amount of our attention toward one key decision maker: the consumer.

Consumers are in a unique bargaining position when it comes to their food. To them, food is personal, and it’s directly tied to their well-being. With the increasing amount of information available to them, they are making purchasing decisions based on things they hear on the news or read online, that —  whether true or not — are directly affecting you and your business.

I must say, there is a lot of misinformation out there in regard to how our food is grown, and as growers, you are really fighting the good fight by trying to position ag in a more favorable light to the greater public. We consumers (yes, that even includes you as a grower) are a picky bunch. We want what we want, in season or out, and we want it fresh, delicious, and free of any visible defects.

At the end of the day, all of these demands create ripples that can be felt industry wide. Take the somewhat recent introduction of “superfoods” into the American diet. Only five years ago few people had even heard of kale — now it’s featured prominently on menus across the country and promoted in mainstream media almost as if it were the second coming. Hallowed be thy kale. And guess what? Growers are producing more of it.

A grower who runs a U-pick farming operation told me recently that she began to grow the crop due to increased customer demand and then saw a surge of younger customers interested in visiting the farm that she’d never seen in previous years.

We Americans might be a little persnickety and prone to hype when it comes to our food, but when all is said and done, a satisfied customer with a happy belly full of produce means more dollars in your pocket.

If you don’t already, maybe it’s time to start thinking about ways that you can tune into consumers’ purchasing habits. After all, by serving their needs, you’re indirectly serving your own.

Topics: , , ,

Leave a Reply

Marketing Stories
Spring Valley Farms in Umatilla, FL, from a drone
Citrus
September 29, 2016
Celebrate National Farmer’s Day Every Day
Florida agriculture has a compelling story to tell every day, but what better time to tell it than National Farmer’s Day? Read More
Photo courtesy of UF/IFAS
Berries
September 23, 2016
What U.S. Consumers Think About Florida Blueberries
For growers, the good news is that shoppers like what you are serving up. But more can be done to whet appetites. Read More
Photo by Rosemary Gordon
Marketing
September 6, 2016
Red Sun Farms Becomes Part Of The ‘Ohio Proud’ Program
After breaking ground on a second greenhouse in the spring, Red Sun plans to start the hiring process this fall and plant the first crop in early 2017. Read More
hops
Fruits
September 1, 2016
Craft Beer Boom Driving U.S. Hop Acres To New Heights
Industry experiencing fifth consecutive year of growth and record production. Read More
Photo courtesy of American Sweet Potato Marketing Institute
Farm Management
July 26, 2016
Mexico Has Potential For U.S. Sweet Potato Exports  
Assessment concluded that opportunities abound if Mexican buyers better understand grades, sizes, and quality of U.S. product. Read More
Florida Department of Citrus marketing video screenshot featuring Aaron Himrod and his wife Kristi
Citrus
July 17, 2016
Millennial Moms, Florida Orange Juice A Good Mix
Learn what new marketing strategies are being employed by the Florida Department of Citrus to reach this vital consumer segment. Read More
Panama Canal Expansion opening celebration
Citrus
June 28, 2016
Panama Canal Expands For New Trade Opportunities
First vessel passes through new, larger locks as country celebrates. Read More
The Latest
Fruits
November 18, 2016
Classic Thanksgiving Meal To Set You Bac…
Adjusting for inflation, the latest survey from American Farm Bureau Federation reveals the lowest average price for the holiday feast since 2010. Read More
Marketing
October 17, 2016
Food Hubs Helping Connect Agriculture An…
Northeast Florida farmers collaborate to teach consumers about farming, while providing high-quality produce to local buyers. Read More
Berries
October 10, 2016
Wish Farms Going Bigger, Bolder With Bla…
Central Florida-based operation meeting consumer demand by extending its berry program. Read More
Citrus
September 29, 2016
Celebrate National Farmer’s Day Ev…
Florida agriculture has a compelling story to tell every day, but what better time to tell it than National Farmer’s Day? Read More
Berries
September 23, 2016
What U.S. Consumers Think About Florida …
For growers, the good news is that shoppers like what you are serving up. But more can be done to whet appetites. Read More
Marketing
September 6, 2016
Red Sun Farms Becomes Part Of The ‘Ohio …
After breaking ground on a second greenhouse in the spring, Red Sun plans to start the hiring process this fall and plant the first crop in early 2017. Read More
Fruits
September 1, 2016
Craft Beer Boom Driving U.S. Hop Acres T…
Industry experiencing fifth consecutive year of growth and record production. Read More
Farm Management
July 26, 2016
Mexico Has Potential For U.S. Sweet Pota…
Assessment concluded that opportunities abound if Mexican buyers better understand grades, sizes, and quality of U.S. product. Read More
Citrus
July 17, 2016
Millennial Moms, Florida Orange Juice A …
Learn what new marketing strategies are being employed by the Florida Department of Citrus to reach this vital consumer segment. Read More
Citrus
June 28, 2016
Panama Canal Expands For New Trade Oppor…
First vessel passes through new, larger locks as country celebrates. Read More
Farm Management
June 14, 2016
$16.8 Million In Grants Awarded To Encou…
Grants support community partnerships that also benefit regional food producers, local economies, and SNAP participants. Read More
Fruits
May 30, 2016
‘Fresh Attitude Week’ Promot…
The largest U.S. urban school districts host weeklong celebration, Fresh Attitude Week, which highlights fresh fruits and vegetables and other nutrition education activities. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Panama Canal Expansion To Bring Trade Op…
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says a confluence of events is putting the state's producers in a good spot to open new markets. Read More
Citrus
May 24, 2016
Full-Time Effort Required To Feed Farm-T…
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam gives a shout-out to those providing fuel to kids during the school year as well as the summer months. Read More
Cucurbits
April 23, 2016
Award-Winning Interactive Music Video Pr…
Funded by the National Watermelon Promotion Board, the video was produced in support of the rock and roll nutrition show, Jump With Jill. Read More
Apples & Pears
April 11, 2016
Orchard Picked As Stop For Presidential …
Recently renovated Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard to host live NBC broadcasts on Thursday and Friday. Read More
Marketing
April 11, 2016
Meister Media Worldwide Website Relaunch…
The farming world is changing at warp speed. From the adoption of precision technology, to the rapid increase in acreage Read More
Crop Protection
April 7, 2016
6 Steps To Increase Efficiencies On The …
Embracing industry changes, New York’s Turek Farms looks to find better ways to get the job done. Read More