In collaboration with seven NASDA members, the first Good Food Mercantile Road Trip is off to a stellar start! Since late April, the Good Food Foundation has co-hosted an hour-long virtual tasting where five to eight food crafters share their stories and guide 25 retailers across the country in a tasting of their top products. The Good Food Foundation is a 501(c)3 that works to support small and mid-size, sustainability and community-minded food and drink producers across the country.
So far, the road trip has crisscrossed the nation, with stops in Virginia, Illinois, North Carolina in the books and New Mexico, Utah and Oregon upcoming.
While it’s too soon to tell the impact in terms of new sales, an earlier pilot of the program amounted in an average of three new orders per attending retailer, which equates to nine new sales per producer. For a jam maker selling 12 jars at $4.95 each wholesale, the annual revenue on nine new orders would amount to $6,415. With this same calculation extended to all 8 participating crafters, this would equate to over $50,000 in annual revenue.
Attendees have included buyers from influential independent retail stores such as Zingerman’s and Market of Choice (13 locations in Oregon), as well as online retailers including Google and Mouth Foods.
Marshall Payne, Division of Marketing and Development for the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, had these kind words to share about his experience with the road trip, “The tasting went amazing I thought! The crafters and buyers were engaged and it couldn’t have gone much better!”
Similarly, Kim Hamilton from the Illinois Department of Agriculture had this to share, “The best part was learning more about our companies and seeing the interest from the buyer side.”
Jerry Costello, the Illinois Director of Agriculture, also made a cameo at the Illinois tasting and shared some impressive statistics and background on the agricultural landscape with buyers.
The Good Food Foundation has a few spots left for states to participate in a July tasting, and is also planning to organize the second edition of the Road Show next spring. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.