Eileen Bentley, Prepared Foods and Small Business Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board
In the development of Bord Bia’s recently published ‘Guide to Food Markets in Ireland’, research was undertaken with stall holders and market managers and organizers in Ireland as well as identifying international best practice to define what factors are critical and common to successful food markets.
A summary of these characteristics is outlined below.
1. Community Vision – markets thrive when they are at the centre of their community. Links with local charities, communal stalls to sell allotment grown produce and supporting local start-up businesses are all examples in action
2. Location – keep it central, busy and convenient
3. Good Facilities – hygiene facilities for traders, and picnic benches for visitors
4. Stallholder fit – the brand ambassadors for the market! They should be passionate advocates for what they sell
5. Product offer – getting the mix right to attract regular shoppers and passing visitors on a day out
6. Good value – not just about price but includes the overall experience and product quality
7. Entertainment & Marketing – tell the public about your market and then encourage them to linger!
8. Local authority support – engage in dialogue from the outset
9. Economic feasibility – markets typically take 3 years to become profitable
10. Strong management structure – define roles and responsibilities and get others involved
More details can be found by downloading the guide from www.bordbiavantage.ie