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Nowadays, consumers change how they shop and the ‘buy local’ trend accelerates. Nearly 15% of farms in the EU sell most of their products via short food supply chain.* This trend is booming and there is a huge potential for young entrepreneurs.
The Grocery Basket is a perfect example of a sustainable food retail model based on short circuit. But first question, what is exactly about? The concept is based on a distribution of 'baskets' made up from local farm products: fruits, veggies, dairy products, eggs, whatever you may think good and appealing for consumers.
If you think there is no single strategy to launch such a business, you are completely right. Every individual has its own story to tell about the development of its business and options are multiple, both in terms of product ranges and distribution channels. However, there are some common rules to follow if you want to be successful and the aim of this module is to give you easy and good tips on how to get started for your Grocery Basket. So, get on board and just follow the guide!
* Mottershead, D. and Schweitzer, J.-P. (2018). Short food supply chains. Briefing for the report: Unwrapped: How throwaway plastic is failing to solve Europe’s food waste problem (and what we need to do instead). Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), Brussels. A study by Zero Waste Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe for the Rethink Plastic Alliance.
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When it comes to developing a business or advertising products, having a standard physical space is usually the first thing that cross our mind to effectively distribute products and attract consumers. However, renting a space is costly and most of young entrepreneurs cannot afford it. Don’t worry, there is no need to absolutely follow this standard approach to run your Grocery Basket. This business is very flexible and you can start selling your products with a reduced warehouse facility. No fancy location required at the very beginning!
When starting your Grocery Basket, the first thing to do is to select a distribution channel that works for you. If you get hesitant and don't know what to choose, take a look at your competitors, how do they sell products, examine costs and benefits and finally rank your options. This methodology will help you in your decision-making process.
Now, it's time to select the days of the week that you would like for product pick-ups and/or deliveries. The objective is to make your customers aware of how often they can get your products so they can change their shopping routine and gradually stop going to supermarkets for fruits and veggies.
Finding your local suppliers is another big step in your development process since it has a direct influence on the quality of the products you offer to consumers and on the way you can drive your business. You need to establish partnerships with local farmers who can supply you with fresh and seasonal products. Then, it's your call to make the best baskets out of it with the best products combos. If you have no experience, take a look at your competitors, read books or blogs and go through seasonal recipes. As every young entrepreneur, you will learn by doing mistakes!
Last step, work on a nice merchandising approach so your physical space is clean and attractive. No need of making a huge investment for that, you can do most of it yourself with recycled stuff, e.g. homemade wooden pallets furniture. The most important is to get products easily accessible and make your place unmissable for customers!
From time to time, you can host specific animations, cook seasonal recipes or organize a contest so people have fun and get engaged about your products.
Ready for the Grocery Basket adventure? Here’s your to-do list:
- Find a physical space
- Set up the Grocery Basket
- Run the Grocery Basket
The key to success is to go step by step!
In order to make you familiar with the Grocery Basket, go to the Resources section where you will find a bunch of useful links and videos so you get the essence of the concept in a fun and light way.
Since finding a physical space is the most crucial step of the project - it's usually what makes most entrepreneurs give up - we have gathered for you some very useful tips. Check out the document called ‘Finding a physical space’ with a checklist of possibilities so you get a choice as broad as possible (both in terms of budget and locations).
Now that you got familiar with the concept and you know how to find and choose your physical space, it's time for action. Take a piece of paper and write down how to set up and run your own Grocery Basket! Here are some examples of questions that will guide you through the development process:
- How do you find and arrange your space?
- What distribution channel do you select?
- What is your pick up and delivery product routine?
- What’s marketing plan?
- How do you identify your local suppliers?
You know now there are plenty of options to find a physical space and set up your Grocery Basket which gives you so more confidence about the feasibility of the project. Remember the way your physical space is designed is key to attract and retain customers. Be creative and take advice from others with experience, they will give you some greats tips and ideas.
But it's not because your physical space is selected and set up that your mission is over. You are a young entrepreneur and you need to think about the best way to grow and get some more visibility. Any idea? Go digital! Follow us in the next module to get many good recommendations.
- 1.10) I can develop (alone or with others) an inspiring vision for the future that involves others.
- 1.13) I can tell the difference between social, cultural and economic value.
- 2.7) I can reflect on the social incentives associated with having a sense of initiative and creating value for myself and others.
- 3.1) I can take individual and group responsibility to carry out simple tasks in value-creating activities.
- 3.5) I can create an action plan which identifies the necessary steps to achieve my goals.
- 3.16) I can work with a range of individuals and teams.
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