- Agronomic: hops
- Farm Business Management: e-commerce
Historically, hops are not a new crop to the Midwest, though recently they have (re) emerged as a crop with much potential for growers. Yet the marketing and sales of hops has proven to be challenging for many farmers. Naively, many new growers start farming hops with the belief that if they can grow it then their local brewery will automatically purchase their harvest, only to find that marketing is as challenging as growing.
Being able to directly market hops to homebrewers will benefit growers, consumers and the community. Consumers will have access to a very fresh, high quality product that has unique flavors to the region in which it is grown. Farmers will be able to increase their profits and provide additional income to their communities.
This project will examine the best way to package, promote and market hops to consumers.
- Identify the best methods for marketing and packaging small quantity sales of hops (less than 3 pounds).
- Evaluate return on investment of various marketing efforts in increasing sales.
- Evaluate costs and profit of direct marketing of hops versus selling to a distributor.
- Share findings to other growers through field days, website and social media, as well as conference presentations.