MONDOVI — Farmers not only compete with other farmers when it comes to customers, but they also must compete with prepackaged meal services, grocery stores and overseas companies producing foods that will be sold within their geographic market.
Because of this, farms must evolve so they are able to continue to meet the demands of their ever-changing customer base and develop add-on value items to help ensure their farm can stay in business.
Together Farms, founded in 2009 and owned by Andy and Stephanie Schneider, has continued to evolve and adapt to make sure they are meeting their customers’ demands by offering on-site burger nights, prepackaged meal kits, events, online eBooks and more.
“I could not think of a better way to spend each day than learning, teaching and being with your family — together,” Andy said.
Stephanie, vice president of Together Farms, which raises organic beef, lamb and pork, is the first person most people will encounter when visiting the farm, stopping by their booth at the local farmers’ market or contacting the farm.
“Consumers today value convenience,” Stephanie said. “Many would rather pay $3-5 a serving for our eight-pack meal kit bundles than having to prepare their meals from scratch.”
The cost per meal from Together Farms not only supports a Wisconsin farm that implements organic practices, but it may be a better value than other pre-made meal services on the market.
Many consumers in the U.S. place a big value on being able to save time, whether it is at the store, preparing meals or conducting meal cleanup. According to a study conducted by Five Start Home Foods Inc., the average American spends 43 minutes in a grocery store per trip and goes to the store 1.6 times a week. This puts consumers in the grocery store for more than 60 hours a year, without including time spent traveling to and from the store.
For a better estimate, imagine that the average consumer spends 40 hours a year traveling to the grocery store throughout their 83 stops. If this were the case, between shopping and driving to the grocery store alone, one has invested 100 hours, or 12.5 work days, just in obtaining their meals.
According to Forbes, U.S. residents spend the least amount of time cooking and cleaning up after cooking, with an investment of 30 minutes a day, thanks to fast food, microwavable items and pre-made goods.
All this time continues to add up. By offering pre-made meal kits and meal prepping workshops, Together Farms can maximize their customer base by meeting the demand of customers who want their food to be ready immediately after work, picking up their children or whatever else life throws their way.
These meal kits are made using healthy ingredients, can be thrown into a slow cooker in the morning and are ready to eat immediately after coming home from work.
“Basically, these are just meat, veggies and seasoning,” Stephanie said. “Perfect for people with allergies or on special diets. But you can add bread, starch sides, salads or desserts to really complete the meal.”
Together Farm meal kits contain no gluten or dairy in an effort to help ensure that people with those types of dietary restrictions can eat the farm’s meals.
The farm also serves burgers on the farm every Sunday from May through September. Burgers are made to order from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the events are family-friendly. In January, the farm will host two meal kit events where attendees will be able to help prepare their own meal kits.
Orders for meal kits and bulk meat can be placed online at togetherfarms.com. Products can be shipped for convenience.