Monday, November 29, 2010

Taking Your Chickens' Eggs to Market


If you are lucky enough to raise chickens and have found that your egg production exceeds your in-home consumption, this might be the time to consider selling your eggs for profit. Selling excess eggs will reduce waste, bring in extra cash and - in many cases - it can introduce you to a wonderful community of local farmers and organic produce enthusiasts.


If you are considering selling your eggs there are a few business decisions you will need to make, the most important being, which distribution channel will work best for you?


You have a few choices when it comes to getting your eggs to market. Please note: It is important to also investigate the local laws that govern egg production in your area. There will be different rules for different distribution networks regarding things like inspection, safety, insurance and record keeping.


The most direct-to-consumer option for selling your eggs is a farmer stand. Farmer stands are typically found in places like farmers markets or on the road-side. If you find the right location, these stands can be very lucrative, but they do require a larger investment of your time. When contemplating this option, take into account how many hours you can spare from your busy life.


Some Tips for Effective Farmer Stands:


  • Choose a location that is not only high traffic, but also heavily populated by your target market (i.e. people who highly value fresh produce and are willing to pay a premium for it.) According to the Food Marketing Institute, organic food purchasing is driven more by lifestyle than demographics, so seek out locations that appeal to the organic lifestyle.

  • Be sure to clearly label your stand with the benefits of your eggs and appeal to your target market’s values. If your eggs are organic or free-range, be sure to communicate it! Feel free to have signage that sings the praises of the egg’s taste and quality. A little personality goes a long way too. People are buying both a high quality product and an experience. Be quaint, humorous, clever, or whatever makes you, your farm and your product distinctive. People like knowing where their food comes from, and if they like you… they are more likely to like your eggs, and become repeat customers.

  • Invest in quality egg cartons that you can personalize with your egg farm’s information. Not only will these cartons allow your client to take their eggs home, but they will build your farm’s brand identity. You can buy egg cartons wholesale and customize them to reflect your unique identity. Consider placing customized logo stickers on non-printed recycled egg cartons and be sure to include a telephone number, so that restaurants or repeat customers can reach you directly when they want more.


If a farm stand is more of a time commitment than you can or are willing to make, consider targeting wholesale opportunities with local co-ops, grocery stores, restaurants or even hotels. Call around and offer a sample of your eggs. Demonstrate that you not only have high quality eggs, but that you are a professional willing to accommodate the client (within reason). Smaller businesses like restaurants are especially vulnerable to undependable suppliers. Establish trust with these clients, and you will have long-term business allies. In some communities, producer co-operatives allow fellow egg farmers to pool resources for more effective marketing. These partnerships increase efficiencies and allow you to sell more eggs than you might be able to on your own.


If your egg production quantity is very large, considering finding a broker to market your eggs. Like any agent, a broker will take some of your profit, but they will save you time and often have access to very large buying networks.


Need help marketing your eggs? Call the egg marketing experts at The Egg Carton Store directly at 1-866-333-1132 and we'll be happy to help out!

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