By Malinda Geisler, content specialist, AgMRC, Iowa State University.
Updated August, 2017.
An affordable method to market new products directly to consumers is for orchards to establish their own Web sites. Reasons for direct marketing, such as online sales, include the opportunity to capture a greater share of the food dollar. In 2016 the value farmers currently contributed to food expenditures accounted for just 15.6 percent of the total value.
Another reason for direct marketing is the growing consumer segment that desires information about the origination and method their food is being raised. This trend relates to traceability. The ability to trace a product to the original source is a critical food safety issue.
With widespread sales of home computers, an estimated 88 percent of the U.S. population has Internet access. Total e-commerce sales in the United States during 2016 were estimated at $394.86 billion.
U.S. Department of Commerce
- Postharvest Information Network, Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Washington State University - This site provides information by variety as well as subject, including quality, marketing, organic and storage.
- Apple Acres Farm, South Hiram, Maine - The Johnson family owns and operates this farm, which markets several products from its gift store, including old-fashioned boiled cider syrup. The online store sells assortment apple packages, syrup and baking mixes.
- Apples OnLine - The Valicoff Fruit Company, a family-owned wholesaling company in Washington State’s Yakima Valley, opened its online store in 1998. It offers seven varieties of apples year-round and peaches, pears, nectarines and apricots in season.
- Linvilla Orchards, Media, Pennsylvania - The Linvilla family markets premium fruit baskets and boxes online year-round. The family also sells other fruits, vegetables, baked goods and gifts.
Links checked August 2017.