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Encourage Buying in Bulk, Canning, Freezing, and Drying

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Encourage Buying in Bulk, Canning, Freezing, and Drying

There has been a renaissance of interest in "putting food by"... canning, freezing, and drying. Your customers are no doubt familiar with the idea, even if they have never preserved food before. Most have seen the big displays of canning supplies at supermarkets and big box stores, and they have probably encountered numerous magazine and newspaper articles about the benefits of preserving food.

So the pump is primed...you just need to provide a reminder, some guidance, and an abundance of produce. Here are some suggestions for encouraging your customers to buy in bulk.

Visual cues. Think about how you would preserve your bounty (if you only had the time!) and decorate your market stand accordingly. You might dry some bunches of herbs at home, then hang them above your fresh herb display at market. Make a display of canning jars with the ingredients needed for salsa, pasta sauce, pickles, and so on. Braid some onions and hang them above your table. Be sure to include some reference material for those who are unsure how to proceed.

Recipes. Provide easy-to-make recipes for the items you want to move in volume. The Ball website has a clever feature that allows you to find recipes by main ingredient, preserving method, and ease. Download a few recipes for each type of preserving. 

Price incentives. If you have bushels of produce beyond what you can usually sell, offer a discount for volume purchases. If you don't have an excess, you can still encourage volume buying by throwing in something free; for example, offer a pint of jalapenos or a bunch of basil free for a 10-pound tomato purchase.

Make signs. Put out a chalkboard stating the obvious: "Eat local all winter! Preserve now."

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Reprinted from JSS Advantage September 2011


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