Is There an Online Opportunity for Farmers’ Markets?
Described as "Etsy for local foodies," Good Eggs is a newer e-commerce site enabling consumers to buy local foods from farms and other local purveyors.
The start-up, founded in San Francisco by several Silicon Valley alums, launched last summer in the Bay Area and expanded this year to Brooklyn, New Orleans and Los Angeles.
Good Eggs claims to be opening up an online opportunity for not only the sale of produce from local farmers but also local sellers of jarred items like jams, baked goods, meat and other regional fare often found at such markets. The San Francisco site is the most developed, counting more than 150 vendors, including those offering cheeses, olive oil, teas, baby foods and chocolate, as well as a variety of vegan, gluten-free and ethnic food options.
Shoppers go to their regional Goodeggs.com marketplace and browse through microsites set up for each local food specialist. The microsites are segmented by "Markets", such as Summer Fruits & Veggies, Dairy & Eggs and Baked Goods & Sweets. All the purveyors set their own prices.
Customers order what they want and pay the individual purveyors directly through the website. Home delivery (a cost of $3.99) is done by the individual vendor or by Good Eggs. Shoppers can also retrieve their purchase for free at pickup locations.
Good Eggs receives 25 percent of the sale for each delivery they orchestrate and six percent for direct orders the local producer handles. Like Etsy, small food vendors have a platform for selling their products online.
"There’s no way I could build the tools they’re building [at Good Eggs]," ShaeLynn Watt of Early Bird Ranch in Pescadero, CA, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "My time is better spent producing delicious food and building better relationships with my customers."
For consumers, Good Eggs touts the benefits of buying local, including maximizing freshness, supporting nearby businesses and reducing waste. But the ambitious founders believe they’ve simplified local grocery online delivery.
"A lot of entrepreneurs are inventing other ways to get food to people outside of traditional grocery distribution channels," co-founder Alon Salant told Wired in an article last year. "That’s great, but it’s completely disorganized without any infrastructure or support. There’s a clear need here to make people’s lives easier."
- Good Eggs
- Meet Good Eggs, the Etsy for Local Foodies – Wired
- The Amazing Disappearing Supermarket: Building the 21st Century Grocery Store – San Francisco Weekly
- New online marketplace connects consumers to small New Orleans food producers – The Times-Picayune
- Good Eggs to bring its ‘farm-to-fridge’ online storefront to L.A. – Los Angeles Times
What do think of Good Eggs’ business model? What are its benefits and drawbacks for both consumers and local food producers? Do you see such shared online e-commerce platforms as a potential boon to local farmer communities?