Market Data for Farmers’ Markets

Why collect data?

There are many reasons collecting information about your market is a good idea, and the NMFMA requires annual market data submissions from all member markets.

With market data, you can:

  • Track your market’s progress over time
  • Measure your promotional efforts and make changes based on what works and what doesn’t
  • Use sales and customer information to attract vendors
  • Show the local community, businesses, and government the impact of your market to garner their support
  • Evaluate your market schedule based on customer counts to determine if your market season should be shortened or extended, or if your market days should change

Every year, the NMFMA collects and compiles information about market customer and vendor counts, sales, fees, etc. from all member markets. This information is critical for showing the growth of markets and the impact they have on their communities and local agriculture. We share this information with member markets to help them self-evaluate and improve as well as with legislators to garner support for markets around the state. Collecting data about your market is an excellent exercise in evaluating your market and measuring its growth over time.

Market Data Form

Please fill out and submit the Market Data Form to the NMFMA by November 15th. The Market Data Form can be filled out in one of two ways:

You can take the online survey by SELECTING THIS LINK (preferred). Please note that you will not be able to edit the online form after you submit it, so if you need to compile the information before filling it out online, download the form here and review its contents before filling it out online.

You can DOWNLOAD THE FORM HERE, print it, fill it out, and mail it to the NMFMA (1919 Fifth Street, Suite H, Santa Fe, NM 87505).

Data Collection Methods

Counting Customers

Counting Customers Methods for counting customers will vary depending on your site. For instance, the size of the market, the number of entry/exit points and the number of volunteers available to you will all affect your counting method. Here is one idea for getting an accurate customer count:

  • Count all the people that are in the market at opening time.
  • Position people to count at every place where customers enter the market.
  • Use tally counters (clickers) to count all adults that enter.
  • Count people for the first 15 minutes of every hour, multiply this number by 4 to get an estimate for the whole hour, then add up these hourly estimates for a daily estimate (don’t forget to add in the people who were at the market at opening time).

If your market can be accessed from too many places, have 2 or 3 people count shoppers in the market.

Collecting Sales Data

Here are a few ideas for collecting sales data:

  • Ask vendors to tell you their weekly, monthly, or season’s sales. This can be done anonymously by having vendors submit numbers to an envelope or along with their vendor fees.
  • Ask vendors to give an estimate of a good day and a bad day at market, then average and multiply by the number of market days.
  • Survey customers to find out on average how much they spend on each visit then multiply by the average number of customers and market days.
  • If you charge your vendor fees based on a percentage of sales, you will have a good idea of each grower’s sales each day.
  • Visually assess the amount of produce brought by vendors each market day to estimate sales.

Ask vendors which portion of their sales were in WIC and Senior checks, then multiply to estimate total sales. For instance, if you find that vendors average ¼ of their sales from WIC and Senior FMNP, multiply total WIC and Senior sales by 4.