Canino Produce's Segmentation Strategy

September 20, 2010 [caption id="attachment_200" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Famers Outlet sign"][/caption] I am ashamed to admit that it took me five years of living in Houston to finally get to Canino Produce on Airline Drive. I am a farmer's market person. When I travel I always want to see the local market so it was strange that I never went to north Houston to experience Canino Produce. And of course, the marketer in me absolutely loved it. Canino is over 20,000 square feet of farmers market. What intrigued me was their segmentation strategy in their use of the space. Honestly, I don't know if they considered it or if it just intuitively evolved but it is absolutely brilliant. The front of the market space is homogenized just enough to make U.S. bred shoppers feel comfortable, it is laid out in spacious rows in an orderly arrangement with shopping carts available. It is labeled as the Farmers Outlet which must mean Canino as third-party merchant. This is where I imagine the restauranteurs of Houston go to find their bulk, local produce and out of market fresh produce. Then there is the true farmers market component. You slip through an entryway into a maze of stalls. Local products blended with imported items but all produce. A stunning array of produce. Items that I could not identify but beckoned for me to learn their names and how to prepare. This area felt like a true community market, a community of sellers with real farm products without the need to apply wax to their products for packaging. A little bit gritty, a little bit noisy but all of your senses are engaged in a completely different way than the Canino market. And that is their market segmentation brilliance, they allow you to choose which experience you want but no matter which you choose, you get to go home with fresh, beautiful produce. If you haven't been to Airline Drive (ever or lately), I suggest you get up there. You can tell by facades that it is changing quickly, lots of new places being built, perhaps the time has come for Houston to have a true market area in the way that Seattle has Pike's Place or St. Louis has Soulard's. By the way, the line out the door at Houston Dairymaids convinced me that I need to get back there sometime for their cheese tastings. Maybe next week on my way to the market.

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