written by Hillary Wickline, marketing coordinator
Often synonymous with the local movement, small batch producers are on the rise.
Prior to the turn of the century, the term ‘small batch’ was used by economists to describe the manufacturing and production processes. But with the continued push to move America’s manufacturing industries overseas, many artisanal producers have adopted the term in the last 15 years.
Small batch producers rely on quality, customer care, and the community to offer an alternative to big corporations, specifically those who outsource their manufacturing and customer service. Randy Komisar, a guest writer for Forbes Magazine, attributes the four qualities below to small batch and artisanal producers.
Quality Over Quantity
Products produced by small batch and artisanal producers are of a higher quality due to the close attention to detail. In terms of foodstuffs, producing in small batches also ensures freshness.
Larger companies, on the other hand, are likely to cut corners in order to cut costs. While this inevitably saves the consumer a few pennies, the quality of the product – including customer service and convenience – is diminished.
Customers Over Capital
Small batch producers put their customers first. Similar to their attention to product detail, small batch producers go above and beyond to find out exactly what their consumers want and the quality standards they expect.
Driven By Demand
Also known as supply scaling, larger companies drive consumer demand by building inventory and relying on marketing to push their products to the consumer. The small batch market is driven by customer demand, relying on the market (consumers) to determine the scale of production. This allows the producers to grow with their consumers and at the same time eliminates waste and reduces risk.
Corporations that see employees as a payroll expense rather than an asset to the success of the company aren’t shy to cut corners where they can, especially when paychecks are involved. Artisanal manufacturers and small batch producers value their employees because it creates a great work culture and communities. Their dedication to their employees translates into a strong brand and consumer loyalty.
The Co-op supports a number of products that are considered small batch, including Little Baby’s and Zsa’s ice creams, Green Street and One Village coffee, and our new Co-op ground nut butters. We encourage our members and customers to support our small batch products and producers due to their undeniable quality, customer service, and close attention to the sustainable and local movements.