Aggrevated at Farmers Market customers complaining about prices

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by scubaforlife, Jul 15, 2010.

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  1. scubaforlife

    scubaforlife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 13, 2009
    I recently added a farmers market in my local town. I do on-farm sales and one other farmers market, and this new market is making me want stop supporting my local community. The customers keep saying my product is too expensive. I sell whole chickens for $3.50/lb. My average cost per bird is $8.50 (cost of chick + cost of feed + cost of processing/packaging), this assumes my time is worth $0. Average weight on my last batch was 5lbs in the package.

    I actually had someone tell me "I can get a cooked chicken at the supermarket for $5". Why do you shop at a farmers market if you aren't willing to support a farmer that cares about you?
  2. easton coop

    easton coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Winchester UK
    You get what you pay for! it's the same in the UK. That's why it's so hard to convince people to support their local producers and not the big supermarkets. However I do feel that there is a shift in consciousness, it may not totally be everyone but the seed has been sown! [​IMG]
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    You get what you pay for with a $5 cooked chicken from the store.Maybe you need a battery cage photo for people like these and say," If you want this type of meat that is sold for 99 cents a pound go to a grocery store."

    I think people are just so used to paying pennies for their food(though it sure adds up),and they are having a hard time *seeing* that this mass production of the foods have caused not only health issues for people,but also a significant loss in nutrients in the foods.OK,so it is said the nutrition is the same,but the taste sure isn't!
  4. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    I think that's the type of customer you just ignore. For what it's worth, at the farmers market near me, whole chickens for for anywhere between $4.50 and $5 a pound, so I think your price is very reasonable!
  5. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Don't let the numb skulls get to you. There ARE people who know & understand the difference in quality.

    I would probably say something like, "My chicken is like filet mignon & theirs is like the Dollar Menu." I have told friends that store eggs are like Coors Light and my eggs are like a fine micro-brew.
  6. honeydoll

    honeydoll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Stark County, NE Ohio
    You know I was of this mindset awhile ago too. Until I understood how the grocery store chickens came to us so cheap, I really had no understanding of why farmer's markets were so "pricey". It is a hard mentality to overcome, but people want to turn a blind eye to what happens in factory farms because "cheap" is what alot of people want or need. Your chicken is probably very good quality and worth it, but for some that is a high price, especially if they don't fully grasp/appreciate what goes into raising a great meat bird. I hope the attitude in your community changes toward your product. Food, Inc. really changed mine. But the point is, I had to learn first, then I really appreciated local farmers.
  7. orionburn

    orionburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2008
    South Bend, IN
    Quote:These are the type of people that think everything should be cheap because we've grown used to getting everything from China for next to nothing. Well, when you find a rusty spark plug and an old finger nail in your store bought chicken don't come complaining to me.

    The farmer's market is one place where I don't worry about "do that store have it for cheaper?" The taste of truly fresh, home grown food makes that extra buck or two well worth it. Just ignore those types and hang in there.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You are supplying a niche market, one where people generally know what is going on. Most of them can afford to make a choice instead of having to watch every penny. Many of the others would be horrified to learn that vegetables grow in dirt or that even supermarket meat comes from a live animal. Let's not get into where milk actually comes from. You can try to educate them if you want or take the less frustrating path and just tell them to go to the supermarket if low prices and not quality is what they want and take care of your other customers.

    I think there is something else at work. A farmer's market has the look and feel of a flea market. People are used to negotiating and haggling over a price in that set-up. I think some people enjoy the haggling more than what they are haggling over.
  9. Brunty_Farms

    Brunty_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2007
    Quote:I do a lot of my business at farmers markets and the trick is, is to educate the consumer. Most of them don't have a clue but most are willing to learn. After two summers at market it's now hard to get a chicken from us. You have to pre order in advance which makes it tough. People start asking about the chickens and I just say... well it has to be good if we are selling 400 of them every week and we are sold out 3 weeks in advance.

    So take your time and bite the bullet it takes a couple years to establish a customer base especially at farmers markets... and especially new farmers markets. Try to find markets that have been in business for a few years they seem to attract a better customer base.

    Cut your cost a little bit. I sell a whole chicken for $10.00 that weighs 3.5-4 lbs dressed. It's hard to market those bigger birds when your first starting out and once they see the bigger birds that's all they will want. 5-6 pound fryers sell at my farm for $15.00 so you right in that ball park price.

    Chick cost? You shouldn't pay any more than $0.88 / chick + shipping
    Feed? Find a mill to mill your feed you should get your cost down to no higher than $0.15 / pound
    Processing? This has been the bottleneck for small producers for years and the only way to make a living at this, is to do your own.

    Hopefully some of this helped, but stick with it and keep educating your customers. Keep in the back of your mind that you know way more than the average person about chickens.... If you have the mentality that every shopper thinks white eggs are just bleached brown eggs and good chickens are cooked chickens for $5.00 than you can sell a chicken or a dozen eggs to God if you had to.

    Good luck...
  10. BC_Farms

    BC_Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2010
    Enfield & Chaplin CT
    People don't understand what anything is worth these days. From plants to chickens to candles. Everyone thinks everything is less than $3 because it is at Walmart.

    You have to explain to them the difference because they just don't understand. They've obviously never worked retail. Maybe even make posters idk.

    I worked in Ben & Jerry's and a family owned garden center so I've heard it all!
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