Resources - Compare and Contrast Target Markets
Every market channel has different needs. Each one requires a different set of strategies. Market channels that work well for producers in one area may not be appropriate for your business, or may not be good choices in your region due to distance or other barriers. Here are resources to learn more about the different markets, and a worksheet to lay out the pros and cons to make your decision.
Resources: Market Research
Canada’s Growing Appetite for Local Food: the Conference Board of Canada conducted this study on the market for local food in Canada.
The Census of Agriculture has a lot of useful information on food and farming trends.
The Community Health Survey has some information on trends in eating as well.
Internet searches can find many polls and surveys about food and agriculture. Check the source to confirm their status as objective and unbiased in their survey methods. University research is likely to be objective and scientifically assessed for accuracy in methods and results. Polls that are sponsored by private companies may have specific agendas that show in the type of question and the conclusions that are drawn. Surveys that are not professional can be skewed by the design of the questions and choices, so it is good to check the methods before relying on a survey or poll. Another question to ask is whether the area surveyed is relevant to your work; there are many surveys available about U.S. food and agriculture, but you must be cautious in applying these to the Canadian context.
In this video, Peggy Baillie describes a step-by-step procedure for simple and effective market research. Several worksheets accompany this video so that you can develop your own market research; you may not want to use them all, they are offered as options that can be customized to fit your business needs. The worksheets include basic market research questions, and a prioritization chart to help your team make final decisions on new products.
As you develop your market research, you will need to answer these questions:
- What do I need to know?
- Who has this information?
- How will I approach them?
- What are questions I will ask or explore?
Survey Monkey: this platform offers basic survey development and analysis for free, and more complex tools at a reasonable cost.
Google Forms is also a free platform that can be used to generate online surveys. However, virtual data gathering probably cannot replace talking to potential customers and buyers to find out what they like and how they want to access their products.