Small Bites March 2020
Change is in the air
A shift is beginning to take place for the reduction of single use plastic in food. For the past 25 years, the industry has advocated for single use packaging as a way to increase sales & margin across all food categories.

Now, with consumers responding to the plasticfication of the planet , high carbon footprints & ocean pollution they are seeking alternatives & some businesses see this as market advantage.

in 2019, Trader Joe's announced a new program to reduce plastic. From Forbes: 2.5 million pounds of the nearly 4 million pounds of plastic that will be removed from their stores is coming from the produce department. Also in 2019 Aldi announced a slate of sustainable packaging initiatives through a collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition.

City Market a food coop in Burlington is one of many coops also working to reduce single use packaging. Balancing labor, food safety & sales they are also seeking to reduce plastic & meet their customers' needs.
Food Connects works to increase wholesale access to locally produced food & develop new markets for local food producers while contributing to a vibrant local economy.

When you buy from local producers, you're supporting the local economy. Your money stays in the community, rather than going out of state to a chain store owned by a large corporation. 
Create a customer experience of reciprocity & an instagrammable moment . By offering samples, you are creating a relationship with your customer. Research has shown that there is an inherent desire to respond in-kind & for you that translates into sales. Build out a program that increases sales while providing an enhanced shopping experience & keeping shoppers engaged.

Need help creating a sampling program? Check out our handy tips for successful sampling.
Mehuron's Supermarket is back up & running after being closed since early January when a fire in an adjacent business shut them down. Business was bustling this weekend. Locals & ski-tourists were thrilled to spend their dollars at the well-established Waitsfield store favoring local producers.
Are you selling Vermont's Good Food Award winners ? If not... maybe you should! These are premium products, across categories that are receiving national recognition while maintaining a strong local following. Savoure Soda from Bristol is one such company working with local producers, using glass packaging & running small batches that create demand-buzz. Currently self-distributing yet, looking to expand widely to independent stores & coops.

Contact Annie H Harlow for info, support inquiries,
or to share your retail tips

Funding support provided by USDA & VAAFM & High Meadows Fund