Skip to main content
All CollectionsSelling & Marketing
How do you sell living produce at market?
How do you sell living produce at market?

You can use towers, sale by weight, or flat rate sales to sell living produce at market.

Written by Halle Brake
Updated over a week ago

There are dozens of variations on sales models that farmers can use to get their produce to market and sell it effectively. One method possibly with ZipGrow Towers is the Live Sales model. In this sales model, produce is brought live to market in the same Towers where they were grown. Customers can harvest their own straight from the Tower and bring it home.

There's more than one way for Upstart Farmers to create the most interactive food-buying experiences for their customers through Live Sales.

Need some direction on where to start?

To date, our innovative Upstart Farmers have devised three main ways of conducting Live Sales through a retailer.

Choosing a Live Sales method will depend most heavily two things:

  1. The needs of the grocer, and

  2. The point-of-sale system in use.

It's important to work closely with your target store's Produce Manager to determine their objectives and where to start your Live Sales operation for their particular store.

Grower's Tip: If the first method you try doesn't work, don't be afraid to try something else!

Odds are, if the system isn't working for you, it's not working for the grocer, either.


3 way to us the Live Sales model


1. Sales by Tower

Sales by tower charge the grocer a flat rate for every ZipGrow tower of produce delivered.

It is difficult to weigh towers due to their size, so pricing is generally based on the average harvestable product per tower for that crop.

For example, if the average tower has 3 lbs. of basil to harvest, then the grocer would pay 3 lbs. * $32.00 per lb. = $96.00 per tower.

Pro: Sales by tower are easy! Charging a flat rate per tower makes billing a very simple process between farmer and grocer.

Con: Towers are difficult to weigh, so you never know if the grocer is actually receiving more than you charge for.

2. Sales by weight

The most common live sales method, sales by weight allow the customer to harvest as much as they want and pay a per-ounce (or pound) price.

Sales are tracked at the register, and the grocer pays per weight sold.

This sounds simple in theory, but sometimes, grocers aren't setup to weigh live produce at the register.

Pro: Farmers receive payment for exactly the amount of herbs that are harvested from the tower. There's no guessing.

Con: If a grocer isn't set up to weigh small quantities of herbs at their register, customers may receive their herbs for free. Since farmers receive payment based on the weight sold, these reductions can really add up and hurt revenues.

And if herbs are being given away for free, that means the grocer isn't making money, either. They may think that the live display is a waste of revenue-generating, produce aisle space.

3. Flat-rate sales

Flat-rate sales charge customers one price for all the herbs they can fit into a clamshell or other fixed container. Farmers receive payment based on the containers sold, not the weight of produce.

Pros: Sales by container work well when the point-of-sales system (cash register) is not capable of weighing small quantities of herbs.

Fixed container sizes also help customers visualize what they're getting for the price.

Cons: Customers may fit varying amounts of produce into a single clamshell. Make sure to test the maximum amount that will fit, and price accordingly.

Since flat-rate sales are so easy for the grocer, farmer, and customer, we've noticed that they're gaining popularity with Upstart Farmers.

Did this answer your question?