After being at the farmers’ market last Saturday to observe demographic and psychographic of the customers, we spent last week in the class to understand why people buy. Adrian and Richard showed us how different brands are pitched at different segments of the market. We found out that baby boomers go to farmers’ market to buy stuff while gen X people go for experience of buying including interactions and gen Y kids go to socialise. We also concluded that there were more females than males and most people there belong to middle class and they were educated people.
We also looked at 2011 Murphy study that looked at farmers’ markets across New Zealand. Almost 60% of the customers go there most of the time and there were only 7% first timers. That shows that farmers’ market attracts regular, loyal customers. However, once established at farmers’ market, it is difficult to further grow your business there as very few new customers visited farmers’ market. It was also interesting to note that only one in ten people were buying organic produce although 40% respondents said they sometimes buy organic produce. It might be because they thought it would be a good way to answer the question although they really don’t buy organic produce. Another striking thing to notice was that 25% of people who visited had a combined household income of $100000 or above .Top 5 positive influencers were :
1 Quality produce
2 Healthy food
3 Seasonal produce
4 Supportingbthe local community
5 Locally produced food.
Interestingly all these positive influencers were markers of sustainability. Food on special and low prices were way down on the shopping list suggesting farmers’ market may not be very price sensitive.
Sharyn from farmers’ market trust also came over to give us an insight of the Otago market. She showed us stats of the local food economy research done on Otago farmers’ market and also gave us a breakdown of different stall holders at the market. 70% of the stall holders were primary producers or growers, 15% sold added value good a and rest 15% were selling ready to eat food. Some highlights of the research were:
87.6% customers shopped for fruit and veg
40% shopped for meat and fish
26% shopped for dairy including cheese
42% bought baking/value added
31% bought readymade food/beverages, this number swelled to 51% for 1st time customers.
35% buy seasonal produce only
53% buy organic produce
57% buy free range
35% want only local
51% want atmosphere/vibe
The gate count was around 8500 and half stall which is half a car park was only $21+GST.
Sharyn also gave some tips on what sort of products could be successful in the farmers’ market. Unbakery kind, clean healthy food, nutrition value, minimum waste with environmentally friendly packaging. Adrian told us about the close loop packaging where on return of a jar or a bottle the customer can get a free coffee or some discount on next purchase. Sharyn also hinted towards some fermented product that is good for gut flora for a suggestive new product at the market. Some examples being kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut etc.
We then looked at another design tool called personas. Baby boomers for example is a very wide sample of a generation and it is not advisable to design a product for such wide audience. It is better to understand persona which is like a description of a person with their values and needs and then design a product for that persona.
Instead of focusing on what to make with cherries,me now have an understanding to learn who we are designing this product for and what values have they got. The product should fit into their value system and should become apart of their lifestyle so they use it often enough. Moving from there we also looked at a TED video of Malcolm Gladwell, author of the book Blink. He explained very clearly how to make products that people aspire to own. He also confronted the notion of plutonic dish which means there is nothing like one dish or product that will satisf all the customers. He advocated designing products of different types for different target groups. We looked in details different tomato sauces in the New Zealand market and how they each were selling a different notion. From cheap pams to trust with watties and also healthy with their low sugar product and moving to organic sauces and sauce for cooking casseroles. It varied between $2.50 to $12.00 a bottle and all had different appeals. At this stage, we briefly looked at branding. Brand is an experience your product and company delivers everyday to your customers,mit has your promise and your focus.
Obviously, we moved fast and learned some really good lessons on product design that included research.