Farmers: Let’s Build A Brand!

Farmers Building A Brand

Over the last five to ten years, food consumers have been seeking more “premium” experiences from the food they purchase, including better connections with their food and understanding where it comes from. One way this has manifested itself is interest in CSAs and farmers’ markets, allowing people to support local businesses and connect directly with the people growing their food.

However, most consumers still get most of their food from the grocery store, and it is difficult to scale farmers’ markets and CSAs to reach as many consumers as grocery stores do. Thus, CSAs and farmers’ markets may not be viable options for farmers looking for markets for their products. And some farmers might not want to deal directly with customers.

Our answer: someone needs to build a brand.

Brands help tell the story in a concise, relatable way for consumers. As Patrick Mateer talks about on our podcast, Seal the Seasons has their place-based story built into their brand. By flash freezing produce and distributing it via a branded product in grocery and convenience stores in the community where it is grown, they are meeting consumers where they are at while giving wholesale produce farmers access to a market that they would not have otherwise, and at a premium.

Brands also bring alignment across activities, including marketing tactics across channels, so that packaging, advertisements, in-store demos and social media are all communicating the same message and working towards the same goal. Building a brand also means aligning production capacity to meet the consumer demand generated by the brand. Seal the Seasons adds production capacity as their brand footprint expands into new regions and aligns their marketing tactics to support their growth into those new regions, allowing their packaging innovation in the frozen category to help them stand out.

However, building a brand is hard work, and a lot of things go into it. It is not just your friend designing a logo for your packaging or coming up with a clever tagline to go underneath that logo. Good brand building is built on an understanding of your target customer and what problems you are solving for them. Good brand building is strategic, and in the case of food, is informed by the trends in the category in question as well as a competitive analysis so your brand can stand out as defensibly unique.

Developing brands for agricultural products can help farmers produce products that earn them a premium and are meeting a real consumer demand. We want to encourage more partnerships between farmers and brand-oriented food entrepreneurs where it makes sense so that all consumers have access to tasty, fresh food.

And now, our roundup of the best food and beverage finance news, events and resources from around the web…

Food and Beverage Business Models

Business Model Insights

Raising Capital

Raising Capital

  • 4 questions to ask when vetting prospective investors (New Hope Media) – “While investors spend hours conducting diligence on companies and founders, it’s also important for founders to give due diligence to prospective investors. But how? Ask these four questions to properly conduct investor diligence: 1. Is the investor’s vision aligned with yours? 2. Does their experience and knowledge match what you need? 3. Do they have a credible network? 4. How are their relationships with their current portfolio companies?”
  • A Farm Lender’s Perspective (Successful Farming)
  • 5 Common Reasons Why VCs Decide Not To Invest (Fast Company)

Grocery Store Shopping

CPG/National Brands

Grocery Store Produce Section

Market Trends

  • Consumers are demanding more from their beverage experiences (FoodDive) – “In the Beverage Industry’s 2018 product development outlook, 62% of U.S. consumers are seeking natural beverage options, a shift reflected in part by the soda category’s continued decline and the rapid growth of organic drinks. In 2025, the segment is expected to top $55 million and grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13%, according to a report by Grand View Research. There’s a shift toward consumers viewing beverages as a sort of preventative nutrition occasion. People are interested in functionality, and instead of asking ‘What’s in this bottle,’ they’re asking ‘What is this bottle doing for me?’”
  • 43% of Millennials shop frozen more frequently (Refrigerated and Frozen Foods)
  • USDA: Farmers’ markets pose no threat to grocery stores (FoodDive)

 Regenerative Agriculture

Farming and AgTech

Mergers and Acquisitions



Industry Events