FoodLink – Facts for Fancy Fruit


  • How many times have you had to explain to a customer how to select, prepare or store a product that you have grown and are offering for sale?
  • Did you ever wonder if more shoppers might buy your product if they had a clear understanding of how to prepare it?
  • How many of us would buy a kohlrabi if we never learned how to prepare one in a manner that our family would enjoy?

Many of today’s shoppers are making purchasing decisions based on convenience and a lack of knowledge about how to select and prepare traditional fresh produce.

If we expect this generation of shoppers to buy what we are growing we need either a lot of time and patience to help them one at a time as we encounter their questions in the marketplace and/or we need tools so the shopper can educate themselves at the point of purchase (your market) or the point of use (their kitchen).

FoodLink, a FREE tool developed by a team within Purdue Extension to help you do exactly this…to help your customer choose YOUR high quality fresh Indiana products over lesser choices that take their dollars away from the farm and perhaps out of state and may have less nutritional quality than your fresh farm products.

FoodLink provides vendors (YOU) access to materials that include Quick Response (QR) codes that are unique to each of over 40 common Indiana fruits and vegetables from Asparagus to Zucchini and even Honey!

Depending on which crops you are marketing at any given time, simply make the appropriate QR code available to the shopper to scan from their smart phone and allow them to use the clear concise information that immediately appears at their fingertips to make the decision that is right for them and their families.

Even if you personally do not use a smartphone or know how to open a QR code…statistically…87% of women shoppers with children have a smart phone and they use them to access information that impacts their purchasing!

This code driven tool will provide immediate access to the user about proper food selection, use, preparation, pairings, storage and a variety of other quickly accessed information including quick and easy recipes that will encourage the incorporation of fresh fruits and vegetables into the diets of Hoosier families. The tool will address the needs of not only home shoppers but also those of institutional buyers with recipes suitable for not only a family of four but groups of 400.

Codes can be reproduced and placed on signage-large or small, physically on larger produce (melons and pumpkins etc), on clothing (aprons, shirts, hats etc), on boxes used for wholesale shipments and many creative ways that we have yet to identify.

For more information about how to access and use FoodLink resources in your farm marketing activities, please contact Roy Ballard, Purdue Extension educator, ANR, Hancock county by calling 317-462-1113 or by e-mail at

The growing season will soon be here and the marketing season soon follows…Please take a few minutes to take a look at the FoodLink website at to see if it might have benefit to you.

You may enroll your farm market in FoodLink now to receive periodic updates and to access free marketing materials while supplies last. There is NO COST to use FoodLink!

Note…FoodLink will continue to evolve and improve based upon feedback…Recipes and additional content will be added over the coming weeks. Your feedback is welcome anytime.

Share This Article
It is the policy of the Purdue University that all persons have equal opportunity and access to its educational programs, services, activities, and facilities without regard to race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or ancestry, marital status, parental status, sexual orientation, disability or status as a veteran. Purdue is an Affirmative Action Institution. This material may be available in alternative formats. 1-888-EXT-INFO Disclaimer: Reference to products in this publication is not intended to be an endorsement to the exclusion of others which may have similar uses. Any person using products listed in this publication assumes full responsibility for their use in accordance with current directions of the manufacturer.