Making a case: how Vertical Harvest courts new customers
Photo via @verticalharvest on Instagram
Instagram is one of the platforms Vertical Harvest uses to market its products to potential customers in Jackson

Making a case: how Vertical Harvest courts new customers

The Jackson, Wyoming-based grower uses discounts in its market to drive sales during slower times of the year.

November 21, 2019

Every so often, Jackson, Wyoming-based grower Vertical Harvest offers discounts on its products in its on-site market. The goal is to raise brand awareness and draw in new customers during a slower part of the year.

"Right now, it's the start of our off-season where things are slowing down in town in terms of visitors, so we just like to remind and encourage our locals and whoever is here in town to come and get their greens," says Market Manager Lyndsay Rowan. 

Jackson and the Jackson Hole valley, perhaps best known for its ski slopes and the seven-week long  Grand Teton Music Festival, has an off-season beginning in late October or early November. According to Rowan, the population notably decreases around that time of year and "things just start to slow down" all over town. Most notably, she says, there is a max exodus of tourists who lived in Jackson Hole for a while and spent money at local businesses. When that happens, she says, many of the restaurants in the city —­ several of which are Vertical Harvest customers —­ do less business and need less product.

"We are always in full production with our produce," she says. "So that gives us a little bit excess product to be able to sell in the market and pass off to clients." Vertical Harvest sits on a 4,500-square-foot downtown lot and produces greens and tomatoes in a three-story vertical farm. A “significant” portion of the farm’s revenue comes from relationships with restaurants, with retail partnerships and market sales accounting for the rest.

Discounts, Rowan says, are typically 20%, depending on a product's sell-by date and when it was harvested. Products discounted could be anything grown in the farm. Normal prices for most of the products in the market, Rowan says, are about $6. That means a 20% off item —­ like a container of leafy greens — would cost $4.80.

"We have some really great microgreens," she says. "And that's one product in particular that restaurants maybe aren't using as much of, so we just have more product in the market." Rowan says Vertical Harvest produces 25 different kinds of microgreens, so what is available can vary depending on the day. At the time of the interview, arugula, sorrel and sunflower were three varieties currently available. 

To get the word out, Rowan says Vertical Harvest uses social media —­ primarily Instagram and Facebook —­ to market ongoing sales. The idea, she says, is to get instant attention on their product and drive same-day sales. Another platform they utilize is Five Star, a program in Jackson where residents can sign up to get alerts from local businesses when a sale is happening. 

And if they love the greens purchased on sale, perhaps they’ll come back even when they aren’t. That’s at least the goal for Rowan.

"We are definitely hoping this brings new people in who maybe were driven to come in because we were doing a special," she says. "And if we aren't too busy, we are happy to talk about the product as much as we can.”