Farm to Go Tote: How CRP and Pike Place Market Joined Forces

This summer, CRP had the privilege of partnering with Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market to develop a customized tote bag for the city’s 35th annual Out to Lunch Concert Series. Encompassing a full spectrum of Seattle summer traditions, this partnership features live music in various parks and venues, accompanied by the season’s freshest flavors and flowers from local vendors. In order to promote the market during the concert series, PPM wanted a memorable tote bag that served as both a giveaway item and a functional tool to encourage future shopping at the market.

The customer response to the bag has been extremely positive…We have seen it help drive up incremental sales which, in turn, helps generate more revenue for our local farmers.

Our team worked side-by-side with Pike Place Market’s Director of Marketing Kelly Lindsay in order to bring an innovative market tote bag to fruition. According to Kelly, the solution needed to be both creative and functional for market shoppers, while still complying with the city’s plastic bag ban policy. In addition, PPM wanted to make sure the tote bag complemented the overall farmer’s market experience, meaning it also needed to be comfortable, fashionable, reusable, foldable, and storable.

CRP’s designers developed a structure that was equal parts creative and functional. The bag features a main compartment large enough to carry a half flat of berries, a fresh bouquet of flowers, and a bottle of wine or vinegar, along with other local market finds.

Pike Place Market Tote side view with wine bottles and flowers
Pike Place Market Tote With Flowers

“CRP was incredibly helpful in creating a completely unique product for us that reflects the way people shop in the Market,” says Kelly. “[They] really embraced this project – making multiple visits to the Market to get information and samples of flowers, berry flats, etc. – to make sure we got the dimensions just right.”

As this custom design came to life, the development of the prototypes involved some trial and error. For example, the flower and wine pockets located on the exterior of the bag had the potential of throwing it off balance if the shopper chose to use only one or the other. Thus, our team had to go back to the drawing board to redesign a solution that allowed the dimensions and shapes to adequately hold items in the pockets without additional securing devices. The result is an innovative and original bag design that meets all of the original criteria posed by Pike Place Market.

“From the time we unveiled the first prototype in our office, the feedback has been incredible. The bold graphics and unique features – double wine pockets on one side, flower pocket on the other – make this truly one-of-a-kind. Just like the Pike Place Market itself.”

Since the tote’s official launch in June 2013, the Farm to Go Tote has been a hit, gaining attention from Seattle Weekly, and has even helped impact the market’s sales.

“The customer response to the bag has been extremely positive when offered as a premium with minimum purchase.  We have seen it help drive up incremental sales which, in turn, helps generate more revenue for our local farmers,” reports Kelly. “Although it was developed to be used as a ‘gift with purchase’ to promote sales at our Farmers Markets, the tote has become so popular that we developed a program for our small, independent businesses to be able to offer it for sale year-round.”

Available at all four Pike Place Farmers Markets, shoppers can pick up their very own tote, complimentary with a $15 purchase of farm produce, flowers, or related farm products. The totes are also available for individual purchase at the market’s Informational Booth.