It’s that time of year when we not only reflect on the past but also the future. The board at the Monadnock Food Co-op is doing the same. It’s the time of year that we sit and reflect on the year’s sales, new member growth, and community events but also on what is coming to our industry. Thanks in part to our cooperation with National Co-op Grocers (NCG) we’ve got new insights for the road ahead.
While the board leaves the day-to-day operations of the store to the General Manager and the great staff that make our co-op possible, it’s always important for us board members to know and understand the trends that our industry is facing. It not only helps us serve the community, but it also ensures that our co-op expands into the future on the best possible foot.
The trends report provided by NCG give us a firm outlook into our co-ops competition in the natural foods market as well as category sales growth (or decline). While our reports don’t give us in-depth insight into our market here in the Monadnock Region, it does give us overall data for all NCG co-ops. This is an important insight to bring when judging how our store is doing—are we seeing the same trends on the national level here in our region and if not why?
While I won’t go over all of the trends in the report, one, in particular, was a cause of happiness. Sales growth in produce has continued to grow at a healthy tick. While we want to see sales growth throughout the store, it is good to see that members and non-members alike come to the co-op for fresh produce. The desire for fresh produce will (fingers crossed) mean more local farmers in our region can see healthy demand for their goods.
As board members, we constantly seek to educate ourselves not only in our stores’ operations but also the national trends. We hope to craft a co-op for the Monadnock Region that will benefit not only our member-owners but also our community and producers in our local region.