A Lesson in Relevancy from the Union Square Farmers Market in New York

On any given weekend, the farmer’s market in New York’s Union Square is a bustling epicenter of all things fresh and local. From ripe fruit, a heaping assortment of greens, vegetables that vary from familiar to exotic, and baked goods that are reminiscent of a good home cooked meal, it’s a time of discovery and a moment for many to do something healthy for themselves.

Tourists blend in as regulars as everyone takes their fair share of Instagram photos to document their finds, locals do weekend shopping while restaurant staff find ingredients for their evening dishes, making the area diverse.

For vendors, it’s a great time to tap into the lifestyle of these visitors. One customer profile is the health conscious consumer that is on the go and vying for knowledge, ideas, inspiration and shortcuts to help them lead a better life and are also interested in trying a few simple recipes at home.

This opportunity couldn’t be more clear. There’s Whole Foods across the street with lines so large that the store has a color coded system to organize the check out process and juice companies in the neighborhood selling cold pressed juice for an average of $10-$12 a bottle along with trucks that do the same which are located on the perimeter of Union Square.

Walking through the market, you’ll see descriptions of items, but this information could be better tailored for this type of customer. For example, several vendors have signs that say that their apples are sweet, crunchy or great for baking and the market does have excellent how-to demonstrations for those that cook, but how many New Yorkers turn on their ovens?

By tapping into this consumer, some marketing ideas for signage could include information on what types of apples are best for juicing since the benefits include everything from digestion to healthy skin. Or, the benefits of juicing kale and what type makes the best chips. And, whether there are any super food ingredients that may be good with the almond milk smoothie that has become ever so popular with New Yorkers. 

For any brand, whether it’s a vendor at a farmer’s market or a fashion label, looking into what’s going on in your customer life, tapping into trends and seasonality will be the key to keeping your business relevant, but also provide value to your customer which will hopefully lead to repeat sales and a strong relationship.

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