Thanks to Chipotle, farmers’ markets are going virtual

Farmers everywhere are going DTC.

July 6, 2020

Photo by Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

Chipotle is in the grits business now. 

The burrito giant just launched an ecommerce platform for 4 of its major farm partners. On top of the usual Chipotle fare — meat, dairy, rice — you can now snag a bag of grits or popcorn. 

Chipotle paid to set up the virtual storefronts, and it will continue to cover the hosting fees for 2 years, but all profits are going to the farmers.

Why is Chipotle so ag-gressive about online produce sales? 

Disruptions to the supply chain mean its suppliers have plenty to offer but no place to sell.

While some small farms do sell items straight to consumers — think of those roadside apple stands — they don’t usually have the resources for a slick online shopping system.

The pandemic is goading farmers into ecommerce 

Over the last few months, companies like Steward and Agrellus have been trying to get farmers to try direct-to-consumer marketing. But Chipotle is the biggest player yet to throw its weight behind online farm stands.

Ecommerce isn’t the only new sales method of the COVID-19 era. In China, some potato purveyors are live-streaming their sales. 

Prefer not to see a human when shopping for your breakfast? Try a contactless egg vending machine.

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