Tips for food businesses planning for fall

Food businesses should start preparing for fall sales now.

For decorative purposes.
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Food businesses know that autumn is a popular time for food and beverage consumption, especially with the abundance of fresh produce. Football tailgates, Halloween parties, and the harvest season bring a wide variety of festive options to consumers. Michigan farmers markets, fall fairs, and festivals are plentiful. Popular Michigan flavors for the fall season include apple, cinnamon, squash, and pumpkin. Food business owners should talk with local farmers now to arrange wholesale pricing and large quantity orders of fall fruits and vegetables.

The Michigan State University Product Center also reminds food business owners to prepare now for fall ingredient purchasing, new product labeling, and packaging to promote their fall products. Food business owners should consider planning early for fall product photo shoots for websites and social media promotion opportunities. For a list of tips when taking food photography, check out this helpful article from Offering customers some fall recipes is an attractive marketing technique, which can take time to create and make available online.

Fall packaging for farmers markets and festivals can be as simple as adding colorful ribbon or assembling a gift basket featuring products with a Halloween decoration wrapped with a bow. Some of these items can be purchased from online retailers like Papermart or even big box craft stores and dollar stores. Social media images should be chosen carefully to help customers understand how food products could be used for different events, such as tailgating and grilling, for parties, or throughout the harvest season. Planning ahead is critical to pulling off a successful season of increased sales.

While locally harvested fruits and vegetables are popular, the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) reports that global flavors from areas including the Caribbean are growing in popularity in the U.S. Consumers are also seeking out products with less sugar and more health benefits. Food business owners should be informed of the trends in the industry and how products in their category are adapting to meet consumer demands. To learn more about these national food trends, view the article by Dana Cvetan for Food Technology Magazine, “Outlook 2024: Flavor Trends.”

Michigan State University Extension and the Michigan State University Product Center assist entrepreneurs and businesses in developing products and services in the food and agriculture markets. Its team of experts consults with clients on a one-on-one basis, helping new entrepreneurs navigate from concept development to launch and beyond. The MSU Product Center also offers specialized services such as labeling, packaging, and nutritional analysis. If you are interested in business counseling from the MSU Product Center, please visit our website.

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