Horticulture Products

Marketing Horticulture Products - fruits, vegetables, flowers, ornamental plants

Specialty Crops Definition

The Specialty Crop Competitiveness Act of 2004 and the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 have defined specialty crops as “fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).” Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall constitute greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water. For additional information, visit the USDA's website.

Ribes (Currants, Gooseberries, Jostaberries)

In 2009, OSU South Centers received funding from the Ohio Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant program to focus on developing Ribes as a new small fruit crop in Ohio. This marketing and research program was developed to:

  • measure consumer, grower and marketer knowledge of Ribes fruit
  • survey respondents regarding specific identifiable attributes of Ribes fruit
  • test appropriate merchandising to expand consumer knowledge of Ribes fruit
  • develop merchandising materials and training programs for growers
  • conduct research to develop specific production protocols for Ohio growers

As a result of this project, new currant and gooseberry growers will be able to learn how to develop good marketing and production plans. Below are the resources created as a result of this project.

Ribes marketing report

Direct Marketing Ribes Fact Sheet

Ribes Production Website

Case Study: Branstrator Farm

Garden Centers

With interest in local foods on the rise, garden centers increasingly sell fruit, vegetable and herb products, in addition to their standard product mix.


Garden Myths and Legends: Which Ones Really Work (pdf)
Marketing Check-up for Garden Centers (pdf)
Marketing: Evaluating Traditional Tactics and New Trends (pdf)
Social Media Marketing: Building Relationships with Customers (pdf)

Resources for Garden Centers

Focus - Reading Your Image (pdf)
Free Marketing Opportunities for Your Farm (pdf)
Garden Center Marketing Matrix (pdf)
Gearing up for 2012 (pdf)
Guidelines for Designing Effective Marketing Materials (pdf)
Ten Ways to Improve Your Garden (pdf)