One of the reasons people become involved with beekeeping is to sell their honey locally at roadside stands or farmers markets. Many beekeeper’s choose to sell their honey locally versus trying to land a large commercial contract to distribute their honey. Beekeeper’s who choose to sale locally usually sell their product to friends, family members, and neighbors. They typically set up a roadside stand to display their product, selling the honey produced in their hives along side fruits and vegetables that they have grown in their gardens.
Some small beekeepers will gain enough exposure to sell their honey at local grocery stores. Beekeeper’s that sell their products locally typically only have a few active beehives. The key to successfully selling your honey to the local market is to provide the customer with a quality product and good customer service. Beekeeper’s that market their honey typically enjoy face to face contact with their customers. Often the sale of the honey has as much to do with friendship as it does with the product they are purchasing.
Most customers want to learn about beekeeping when buying honey so feel free to educate them on the whole process if they ask. This way they’ll appreciate your product more knowing the time that was put in to get the honey. Beekeeper’s that sell their honey locally should take an active interest in their product. They should make sure that their display is kept clean. They should spend a significant amount of time designing the package. Bottles that are filled with honey should be made of clear plastic or glass. The bottle should be attractive, something that will catch a customer’s eye. Be sure to put an attractive label on the bottle. The label should be clear and easy to read. Clearly printed on the label should be the type of honey (if known) and your name as the beekeeper who produced the honey. The bottle of honey should be something that the customer will want to display on the their kitchen counter or table. Think branding!
If you are a beekeeper that is planning on marketing your honey at a roadside stand you should make sure that you have a sign that can be easily read by drivers. In large letters the sign should read “Honey for Sale”. The sign should be eye catching, but simple. If the sign is too complex, drivers won’t be able to read it. Try to keep shade over your roadside stand, a comfortable customer is one who is more likely to take their time and spend some their money purchasing your products. Always keep an eye on the honey you are selling at the roadside stand. If you notice that any of the bottles of honey are starting to crystallize immediately replace it with a fresh bottle. Many beekeeper’s claim that setting up a beehive near their roadside stand helps attract customer interest.
Successful beekeeper’s pass out literature that gives customers insight to the art of beekeeping and this seems to increase sales. Handing out cards that have recipes that use honey gives customers an idea about how they can use the honey they are purchasing. You may even want to hand out free samples of your honey to close a potential sale. When you are pricing your honey make sure you consider the demands of your time and the cost of all the materials you are using to turn your honey into a marketable product.