Selling Dog Treats at Fairs and Farmers Market is an excellent idea. Not only do people love to bring their dogs to the market, they love to spoil them with special treats. Making money at a Farmers Market selling dog treats depends on how you display your dog treats, how you interact with customers and how you encourage your customers to come back.
I am writing this blog during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and how to package dog treats has changed to adapt with social distancing regulations and to avoid contact. Gone are the days of open bins as the photo demonstrates. So, how should you sell treats at a fair, farmers market or in a retail environment nowadays?
Farmers Market Displays for Dog Treats
Showcasing your treats from a social distance is easier than you think with these out of the box ideas.
1. For iced dog treats, place each design out under a cake dome or in a case so your customers can see the selections clearly without touching them.
2. Place your dog treat label requirements right next to your displayed treats so customers can easily read the ingredients. Be sure to display this in a washable plastic frame or in a plastic sleeve. Keep it sanitized as needed.
3. Under a separate cake dome or case place your non-decorated treats. If you have different sizes, place a few of each outside of the packaging along with what the actual packaging next to them so the customer knows what it looks like. As mentioned in step #2, put the homemade dog treat label in large print next to the display so the customer does not have to touch anything to read the ingredients.
4. Have the customer simply tell you what they want to order so you can place the order in a separate bag. Be sure to wear gloves if you are reaching into grab unwrapped treats. Masks and gloves will keep you and your customers happy!
Selling Dog Treats at a Farmers Market
Along with safely displaying your treats, you want to keep your prices visible so people passing by your booth can easily read them from a distance. This will help people to know if they can afford your treats. Most will be pleasantly surprised that your prices are reasonable! If you need help with how much to price your homemade dog treats you might want to look into taking our online dog treat business course which explains how to calculate your ingredients, labor, etc...
Always be kind and courteous to your customers and if you are not wearing a mask, be sure to smile. Remember, buying dog treats to spoil a dog is a happy moment. If you keep a positive attitude you will sell more. Don't talk about a terrible morning you had or any negative topics, just be... happy!
How to Get Loyal Customers
Building loyalty with customers in the dog bakery business can be as simple as smiling and being friendly. Your customers love to share photos of their dogs to you in person, which is super fun but takes a lot of time away from other customers who may be trying to approach your booth.
🐾 Even though we all love to see these types of photos I have found it best to hand these sharing customers a card with my Facebook or Instagram address on it so they can share their photos with me there. This works very well; the customer will be excited that you love their photos enough to share socially and... it helps with your own pet business marketing.
🐾 Providing extra perks through loyalty cards for your current loyal customer is a normal expectation nowadays and you can keep it as simple as rubber stamping or hole punching a paper business type of card or keep track through an app. This tried and true method does keep customers coming back! Who doesn't like a reward for buying a certain number of treats? Be sure to only use this program if you regularly do local events though, people need to be able to easily access your booth or table even if you are at different locations.
🐾 Setting up ways to communicate to your customers is key, especially if you don't have a retail store. Letting people know where you will be can be as easy as sending your customer email list a monthly newsletter or putting a flyer in their bag to promote your next event or promotional sale. Be sure to let them know of any monthly themes you are doing too, this will keep them coming back for more!
Dog Treat Decorating Ideas
Holidays, Seasons and Farmers Markets in general all have adorable themes. We have recently launched affordable mini decorating kits for bakers to learn how to use our dog bakery products and to get ideas to sell at upcoming events. Pay attention to the themes that your Farmers Market Master has for each market and ice your dog treats to play off of them for extra fun and... to make your Market Master happy! Be sure to use dog treat icing that hardens or carry a cooler with you to store any perishable items.
Are you looking to start or make more money with your dog bakery business? Be sure to check out my online classes, I have classes for every different level of your journey. You can also sign up for my upcoming Live 3 Day Challenge, it's FREE!