Agritourism is Growing – Fresh Ideas Are the Pick of the Crop

By Heather Mayer

Styling and Photography by Laurie Mosco

Agritourism destinations are cropping up everywhere and interest continues to grow, as more tourists opt for seclusion and fresh air over crowded tourist traps. It’s so popular, agritourism is expected to expand by $4.33 billion between now and 2025 (Smartbrief). What exactly is agritourism or agritainment? Agritainment/Agritourism includes anything from an all-inclusive “farm stay”, to corn mazes, to you pick farms, to wineries, to mazes in flower fields or corn fields, to farm stands, and even local plant nurseries. Even with the shift to rustic and rural destinations, tourists still expect similar amenities they’d find at a traditional tourist spot – including gift shops stocked with goodies to bring home. Keep your shop fully stocked and nurture your profits with candy and specialty foods to sell alongside your fresh produce or homemade baked goods.

With beautiful locales and scenic views, your selection shouldn’t be the standard fare found at any box store checkout. Think of your assortment as part of the experience. Here are some sweets and snacks selected by our experts that are sure to make your snack shop the cream of the crop.

Farm Fresh Flavors

Farmstands, fruity candy, gummy strawberries, gummy raspberries, peach rings, sour apple rings, Jelly Belly Jelly beans, Alexander the Grape, Cherry Clan, Johnny Apple Treats, Mr. Melon,
Nostalgic Fruit Flavored Candy

Along with the scenic sights, tourists want to feel the food they’re experiencing is fresh off the farm.  Even if you are crafting candy and confections as part of your attraction, you can also bring those just-picked feelings through premium fruit flavors and unique shapes. 

Offer bold, juicy flavors everyone enjoys like Clever Candy Gummy Peach Rings, Clever Candy Gummy Apple Rings, or even Jelly Belly Sunkist Citrus Mix. Candies in fruit shapes like Haribo Berries Gummi Candy, and Clever Candy 3D Strawberry Gummies add to the authenticity of the experience. If you pack these fruit-inspired bulk candies in a produce container, it adds to the appeal.

If bulk isn’t your thing, prepackaged products featuring fun graphics along with those fruity flavors convey the field fresh feeling. We think Johnny Apple Treats , chewy apple candies, are bushels of fun, with a mascot that looks like he’s just stepped off the farm and don’t forget his buddy Mr. Melon chewy watermelon candy! For those of you who have been in business for generations, give customers something to crow about with old friends Cherry Clan and Alexander the Grape. These chewy fruit candies feature characters on their packaging with a nod to their history that also speaks to today’s youth.

Aunt Berta Preserves
Berta’s Jam

Visitors want to bring home the flavors of the farm but can’t necessarily cart home crates of produce. Premium fruit spreads made using traditional methods are an easy way to create some fun merchandising while satisfying their lust for farm-fresh flavors.  One brand we love is Aunt Berta, whose line of preserves are made using a 200 year old recipe, in traditional flavors like apple cinnamon, blackberry peach, and fig. Another is Bonne Maman preserves, spreads, and jellies made with real fruit in such delightful flavors as wild blueberry, peach, and strawberry. Both feature a homespun label and gingham lid that will make guests feel like they just came from the kitchen.

Sow Some Seeds of Nostalgia

nostalgic candy, cotton candy, rock candy, Moon Pies, Big Cherry, Chowards Violet mints, Necco Wafers, twist pops, Goetze's caramel creams, jawbreaker, Bit-o-honey
Nostalgic Candy

For many, the appeal of agritourism destinations is the chance to take a step back to simpler times. We’ve talked about how nostalgia sells. Keep those nostalgic feelings flowing with a selection of good old fashioned candies. 

Make tourists feel like they’ve just stepped out of a time machine with goodies featuring classic, old-time wrappers like Bit-O-Honey, Necco Wafers, and Goetze’s Vanilla Caramel Creams. If there are farm or orchard elements in the name like Cow Tales or Big Cherry Milkshake — even better! Time out in the fresh air and sunshine can work up quite an appetite.  Offer larger size grab & go goodies like Moon Pies in classic Chocolate, and newer flavor favorites like Vanilla, Strawberry, and Sea Salt Caramel to have them over the moon.

Traveling is a time for folks to divert from the norm. So, offer them the unexpected through nostalgic impulse items like gum and mints.  They’ll be all a buzz when they see gum favorite of flying ace Chuck Yeager— Beemans Chewing Gum.  For those in search of unusual flavors, they’ll love discovering anise flavored Black Jack Chewing Gum, earthy, clove flavored Clove Chewing Gum, and for the really daring, floral scented Choward’s Scented Gum or Choward’s Violet mints.

Nostalgia isn’t just about old time feels, but bringing on the feelings of childhood, too. Make sure the candy classics of childhood are in the mix.  Classic candies that inject color like Monster Jawbreakers, Pennsylvania Dutch Candies Twist Pops, or Rock Candy make merchandising easy. Add to the old time look by presenting these candies in food safe tubs with the look of old general store jugs. Tried and true classics like wrapped chocolate caramel squares or County Fair Cotton Candy in original, or trending flavors like birthday cake, and s’mores add to the sweet sentimental feelings customers will want to bring home.

Your agri-tractions need attractive snacks

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