How farm shops are preparing for Easter 2023

28 March 2023, 08:25 AM
  • Two successful farm shops share their plans for boosting footfall during the long Easter weekend

How farm shops are preparing for Easter 2023

Each year, the Easter weekend represents a significant opportunity for consumer spending. In fact, in 2022, spending on Easter celebrations in the UK reached £1.3 billion, according to Statistica. 

Getting seasonal
Easter is a key foodie holiday in the year, with plenty of opportunity for fine food retailers such as farm shops to cash in on seasonal produce. 

As Ted Newton, marketing and event co-ordinator at Farmer Copleys told Speciality Food, “We love Easter here at Farmer Copleys. It’s always a fantastic time of year, marking the season of Spring arriving and hopefully more warm weather and daylight too! We have been looking forward to Easter all across the business.

“In the shop, our seasonal display is singing all things chocolate, hot cross buns, eggs, Simnel cakes, bunnies and chicks. Lamb is the focal point at the butchery for obvious reasons and gives us a chance to sing about the fantastic British produce we have, and our butchers love to share different recipes and ways to cook it as well as specials through the deli counter, gelato flavours etc.

“Over in the café, we’ll be running a special Easter afternoon tea which looks and tastes delicious as well as using the lamb from the butchery on the menu and through daily specials.”

For Emma Mosey, co-owner of Yolk Farm and Minskip Farm Shop, it’s all about events to celebrate the occasion and provide something for families. 

“Events are a great way to drive footfall. We have an Easter Egg hunt with clues around the farm running from 1st-16th April (the holidays).  We also have our Eggstreme Easter Festival on from Good Friday until Easter Monday, with food trucks, an assault course, egg battles, feather fights and more. This is a large-scale family event that should increase footfall and dwell time.”

Making the most of the opportunity
With their access to fresh, seasonal produce and open space to host activities, farm shops are well-placed to make the most of the Easter opportunity. 

As Emma explained, “Any family occasion is always a great opportunity for farm retailers – at Minskip Farm Shop, we always see an increase in customer numbers and spend around family holidays such as Easter and Mother’s Day. 

“When children who have flown the nest return to the family home, the hosts always want something a little extra special, and farm shops offer the quality needed. Whether it’s a joint of spring lamb, fresh eggs for a fry up, or simply fresh flowers for the table, farm shops are ideally placed to cater for special occasions.”

Ted agreed, “Fine food retailers are in a great position to make the most of Easter. We have great produce, knowledge and topically at the moment, the reliability of giving our customers what they need, when they need it, whilst also knowing that it is going to be exceptional quality

“I think recently some sectors have lost the trust of the consumer, who have turned to their local farm shops and other fine food retailers, who have utilized our short supply chains, to give them what they need and love. It also offers a point of difference from a conventional gift or present, to gift something a bit different and local to home too, again with great taste and/or quality.”

Increasing footfall
Stocking your shelves to the nines with seasonal fare and hosting events is one thing, but fine food retailers need to be smart when it comes to boosting footfall. 

One key way to spread the word is social media. As Emma explained, “Social media is always a great way to promote your offer, and storytelling is a great marketing tool. Farm shops are crammed full of stories – of sourcing produce, of customer experience, and we simply need to tell these stories in a compelling way.”

Ted recommended that retailers jump into Easter with both boots. “We use our seasonal displays at the entrance to the shop which sings Easter and therefore is the first thing our customers are thinking about as they walk around. Sing about the produce you have, show off through your social media and mailing lists about what you’re up to and tell everyone the things that set you apart from a supermarket. 

“If people aren’t sure what to eat, use the talented team you have, to help them learn how to prepare and cook certain recipes. Showcase why should we be eating our own British lamb over imports from New Zealand. 

“Easter is a family time and people are looking for that something a little bit special and maybe visiting you for the first time – it’s a perfect chance to give them a reason to come back when Easter is over”, he concluded.

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