UACES Facebook Blackberry Marketing: Grocery Stores and Supermarkets
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Blackberry Marketing: Grocery Stores and Supermarkets

by Leah English - September 13, 2017

Are you friends with your grocery store? Tips for selling in today's blog post!

Grocery stores and supermarkets are a great way to introduce your products to a large number of consumers. These stores typically buy high volumes of fresh and processed berries.  In the past, stores and supermarkets purchased much of their fresh produce from centralized packaging and distribution centers.  However, in recent years, increased consumer demand for locally grown products has prompted many retail chains to purchase berries and other fresh produce from local farmers.  The main avenues for selling produce to local retail stores include niche or specialty stores, independent grocers, and national chain stores.  These avenues vary by size and scale so it’s important to choose a retail market that’s right for your farm.

Produce Section
Produce Section

The following are key factors that should be considered when establishing a vendor agreement with retailers:

  1. Developing a relationship with the retailer.
  2. Pricing
  3. Packaging
  4. Quality
  5. Quantity

Farmers must work to develop a relationship with the store, either directly, or through an agent, and be able to consistently meet their production and quality standards.  While this avenue may offer a higher sales volume, prices received from these sales will likely be lower than those received from restaurants or through direct marketing strategies.  Fresh blackberries sold through these markets are generally packaged in plastic clamshell containers with those labeled “organic” often commanding a higher price.

Produce Aisle
If selling to large retailers such as Walmart, may need to complete store related paperwork and request a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) credit rating. Many large retailers will require you to obtain food product liability insurance, complete a food safety questionnaire, and obtain a third-party food safety audit certification. For more information about produce food safety in Arkansas visit: https://www.uaex.edu/farm-ranch/crops-commercial-horticulture/horticulture/arkansas-produce-safety.aspx.  The last step in the process is often the vendor agreement.  For more information about establishing vendor agreements with large retailers visit: https://www.uaex.edu/publications/PDF/FSA-40.pdf

Before engaging in any new marketing strategy, it’s important to fully understand the risks and benefits.  Taking the time to evaluate each strategy is a good first step to setting yourself up for success!

Check out these publications for more tips and information:  

Tips for Selling to Grocery Stores https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/6-ATTRA-Tips-for-Selling-to-Grocery-Stores.pdf

Marketing Fresh Produce to Food Retailers (Grocery Stores) https://www.uky.edu/Ag/CCD/marketing/grocers.pdf

 

Leah English
Research Program Associate
Agri Econ & Agri Bus
 

Leah English