business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Michael Sansolo

If misery loves company, traditional food retailers have a new source of solace: farmers' markets.

That probably seems unexpected to you, since farmers' markets have been really hot of late, giving some shoppers a chance to buy direct from what they believe are locally owned and operated sources. But the farm stands are discovering a problem supermarkets have been battling for years.

People don’t always want to cook.

The Washington Post reported recently that many participants in these open-air markets are struggling with competitors in their midst: stands that offer ready-to-eat products. Sellers of raw products are increasingly seeing shoppers flock to the market to socialize and grab a meal rather than stock up on fruits, vegetables and other fare.

As retailers know all too well, that leads to changes in sales and marketing strategies. The Post story says the participants in farmers' markets are learning to shift their selling strategies to stay successful.

Sound familiar?

Not a new story, but certainly an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: