3 Ways To Make Commodities Premium Items

Marc Clark

Marc Clark, executive vice president of Rocket Farms in Salinas, Calif., offers advice to add value to your product:

1 Reposition existing plants. Bring outdoor plants inside with smaller, more compact varieties like sunflowers and coleus. Repackage them in ceramic pots or baskets.

Most consumers won’t care that a sunflower is typically planted outdoors. If it’s packaged properly, consumers will accept it as a new product. Remember: Water used to come from drinking fountains; now we pay more than $1 for a plastic bottle full of it. This was unthinkable just a few decades ago.

2 Take advantage of containers and packaging. Perhaps it’s stating the obvious, but ordinary commodity plants can become extraordinary with clever use of containers and packaging, including racks and shelf talkers. Ball Horticultural Co.’s seed and vegetative catalog is full of hundreds of varieties of inexpensive commodity items that can be potted up into decorative containers and sold for a premium. Often it’s the small differences that matter most– the right color pot to match the plant, correct proportion, etc.

3 Think outside the box! It’s often just looking at a common item in a new way, particularly in terms of how to bring it to market. Think about matching plants together to create new types of “gardens” or re-naming common plants with catchy uncommon names. It’s about marketing and how best to position the products we grow in order to achieve maximum profit. Marketing is the art of not competing on price; anyway you can get there will do.

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