A little while ago one of the area Hy-Vees started to put up these attractive “buy local” biographies for a number of their producers–this one was in Iowa City where we have honey in all of their stores:
They have also started posting “dietician’s choice” signs that often promote local products as well. This is all further evidence about the return to more local options rather than depending on mass distributors to fill the shelves. It’s a much different (and I hope healthier and happier) market than when we started selling direct to stores in the 1990s!
These types of signs have also reminded me of the measuring stick conundrum. For example, the sign from Hy-Vee states that the honey is sourced from Lynnville, 79 miles away. That is specifically our bottling location, whereas the bees and their honey production are situated elsewhere. About two hundred of my hives are distributed in locations within 15 minutes of this particular store, but that’s rather difficult to communicate to the customer A lot of honey buyers in recent years have been encouraged to buy honey within 15 miles of their home in order to get the benefits of the most local floral exposures. It would be difficult to quantify the exact distance of our honey from the buyer in a realistic way since we have about 60 hive locations. Still, I’m obviously thankful for the time and interest that goes into this sort of marketing!