Why Bundle? Because Meat CSA’s work.
And no, that doesn’t mean you have to ship those boxes! In fact, we recommend you don’t. There is plenty of untapped opportunity to gain more local buyers. And bundle boxes don’t have to be CSA’s - but that is certainly an option.
Let’s talk about why Bundle or “Sampler” Boxes work, what to put in them and who, where and how to market to local customers.
People don’t always want to buy a Quarter Cow, Half Pig or Whole Lamb. This could be because they have smaller freezers, are not a family (singles or couples!) or they haven’t bought from you before (and a Quarter Cow is a hefty commit if they haven’t sampled your beef)! People like the opportunity to buy direct local and know where their food comes from; they love knowing the ‘inputs’, appreciate transparency and want to support local farmers.
Online. These same buyers who are hungry to support local farmers are convenience-first (and often convenience-only) buyers. They expect to go online and place orders in as little time and as few clicks as possible. Can buyers order meat from you easily online today? They need to see what you have, add to cart and complete a purchase anytime day or night. (We can help - we help Farmers get online and make it easy - it’s what we do! Schedule a free consult.
Sampler Boxes are ideal for singles, couples, small families, new potential customers, curious customers (try something new!), millenials in general (they love clean food, paleo, little agriculture, health….), buyers on tight budgets, people with normal freezers (very few folks actually have the ‘freezer in my garage’ so this is a huge opportunity!). Sampler boxes are a great ‘introduction’ to your farm, and a way for folks to get acquainted with your products.
This is where we talk about ‘product mix’. If you only offer Quarters and Halves, you will miss out on orders from people who want smaller quantities (see ‘who’ above). In this case you have a very limited product mix which reduces the # of buyers who will place an order. It is good to experiment with different combinations and sizes so customers can ‘find’ what they want. Here are some ideas of ‘what’ to offer:
Different Sizes: small box, medium box, large box, 10 LB, 20 LB, 50 LB etc.
Different Mixes: mixed cuts (ground, sausage, roasts), mixed meats (whole chicken, pork sausages, beef patties and steaks)
Different ‘Themes’: Grillers Pack (steaks, burgers), Family Pack (kid-friendly cuts), Winters Delight (roasts and stew meat), The ‘Little Italy’ Box (italian bulk sausage, tri tip for ragu, Florentine Steak).
When convenient for your Buyers. All customers have different preferences and the goal is to give them what they are looking for, so they complete a purchase. Customers may want to purchase Bundle Boxes ‘as needed’ (as room in freezer becomes available!) or sign up for a regular monthly order. Most will buy ‘as needed’ but the regular monthly order is a great option for those that want to opt in.
People (read: potential buyers!) in your local community are on their phones up to 6 hours a day. That means they are in social channels, checking email and browsing to buy online - they are local and reachable. You just need to ‘market’ to them where they are: online, on devices, on social. You can do unpaid marketing (time investment) or paid marketing (money investment) on these channels. And you should, regularly (some can be automated!).*
*ebook on this topic coming in October! We train farmers on this regularly. It comes with a subscription to Barn2Door (Learn more).