Virtual farmers markets have been online for a few years now, but the COVID-19 pandemic is giving them a boost. Seeking to avoid supermarkets as much as possible, many consumers are turning to online farmers markets to get their fresh goods.
Online farmers markets usually operate in a fairly small geographical area. The operators partner with local farms to take their wares online. The consumer peruses a website packed with delicious fruits and vegetables, picking what they want from various producers, just like at a real farmers market. After paying online, the market ships or delivers the goods.
In Southern California, online farmers market Market Box was actually founded as a result of in-person farmers markets closing due to the pandemic. This virtual farmers market is based in El Cajon, a small city east of San Diego. The new venture involves 50 local vendors offering upward of 600 items. All are vegan and locally grown.
Other online farmers markets include OurHarvest in New York, NoCo Virtual Farmers Market in northern Colorado, and Champaign County Ohio Virtual Farmers’ Market. During the pandemic, Crescent City Farmers Market is offering a weekly drive-through market in New Orleans.