Are we getting in our own way?
I have recently been considering removing the word "local" from my market banners and business cards. I know many of us have been pushing local honey for several years now and it seems to have great marketing appeal. My problem is that several times a season, I have someone argue with me because they do not feel that my product falls into what they consider "local". I have tried to find an official definition of "local" in regard to honey and I get a BROAD range of answers.
I also know that many beekeepers market their honey to the health conscious for all manner of issues. Some of these uses have well documented backgrounds, others not so much; but have become so ingrained by hearsay that they are taken as fact. Are we missing entire demographics of customers by focusing so much on just the health benefits?
My business is large enough now that I have several honeys that are not commonly available from the smaller beekeepers in my area. People are often amazed at how different each honey tastes. I try to make an active effort to come up with recipes that showcase a particular honeys standout flavor. I am getting more and more people looking for honey for strictly culinary purposes.
Are others feeling that the general trend toward marketing local honey might be holding us back somewhat? I have suggested to others in our area that we might think of replacing "buy local honey" with "Support your local beekeeper" I often refer to beekeepers as "Farmers without farms" because so many of my hives are on others farms and I own so little acreage myself. I am sure many of you drive some distance to your hives.
Anybody else have any thoughts on this?