Local markets continue to be both the main way that consumers stay in contact with local producers and suppliers as well as an important step in the establishment of new and diverse food suppliers.
The Market Co GC (formerly Your Local Markets) has been running vibrant farmers markets on the Gold Coast for 16 years offering quality markets with a focus on local and sustainable products.
Over eighty stallholders at each market offer a range of organic, biodynamic and conventionally grown fresh fruit and vegetables, handmade jams, pickles and jellies, meat, fish, freshly ground locally grown organic and conventionally grown coffee, breads, pastries and other bakery items, fresh pasta and sauces, olives, nuts and seeds, breakfast cereals, organic and cold pressed juices, pet foods, soy candles, handmade skin creams and more.
The sociability of the market experience is made more enjoyable and fun by meeting stall owners who provide specialty foods that capture the imagination of consumers.
A comprehensive range of authentic and culturally diverse ‘food to go’ makes market visits more sociable, allowing friends and family to meet and socialise at little cost in a very casual ambient setting, often with live music playing.
Future Food says that modern food experiences put value on “enjoyment, crafting memories and sharing experiences with friends and family and, above all, learning, exploring and discovering new and interesting cuisines, cooking techniques and tastes.”
Local markets succeed in fulfilling most of those criteria.
“A common feature amongst these markets is their desire to appeal to the masses by offering approachable price points, value for money, family friendly environments, a variety of cuisine choices and all-encompassing experiences that involve entertainment, socialisation, food and drinks, all contributing towards delivering a compelling hospitality overlay to appease the senses. In a word, they are fun!”
Stalls are also a stepping-stone for first time vendors, enabling them to test their products without a high level of risk. If there’s a new food trend, you’ll probably see it first at your local market!
A way that markets could engage their audience more, Future Food contends, is to focus on people-to-people interaction, introducing and profiling stall owners through social media channels, publicly showcasing their diversity of food offers, publicly promoting seasonal and one-off events and establishing a platform to introduce food retailers as the ‘faces of the market’ to generate greater connection between customer and retailer.
“These market-wide management driven initiatives contribute towards creating a buzz around the market, increasing awareness and maximising customer engagement, for the benefit of all stakeholders, retailers and customers.”