Evaluating direct to consumer marketing of Midwest grown hops.

Project Overview

FNC19-1158
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2019: $8,821.00
Projected End Date: 02/28/2021
Grant Recipient: Cedar Falls Hops Co.
Region: North Central
State: Iowa
Project Coordinator:
Keri Byrum
Cedar Falls Hops Co.

Commodities

  • Agronomic: hops

Practices

  • Farm Business Management: e-commerce

    Summary:

    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.  

    Project objectives:

    1. Identify the best methods for marketing and packaging small quantity sales of hops (less than 3 pounds).
    2. Evaluate return on investment of various marketing efforts in increasing sales.
    3. Evaluate costs and profit of direct marketing of hops versus selling to a distributor.
    4. Share findings to other growers through field days, website and social media, as well as conference presentations.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.