Lamb and Goat Meat Market Research in Brooklyn, NYC

Duncan Hilchey, 2000 – updated 2012
as a member of the CU Farming Alternatives program and Northeast Sheep and Goat Program

Urban ethnic markets present a significant opportunity for farmers in the Northeast. The Boston to Washington megalopolis contains some of the highest concentrations of ethnic immigrants anywhere in the world. These ethnic groups tend to form close-knit communities with strong cultural ties to their homeland. Food is integral to sustaining ethnic cultures. Ethnic products range from Asian, Italian and Hispanic vegetables and specialty herbs, to goat meat, full-fat dairy products, and live poultry. Many of these products can be produced profitably by farmers in the Northeast.

The following market research was done during 1997through 1999 by staff from a SARE-funded collaboration of the Farming Alternatives Program at Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension of New York City and Just Food, Inc. (a community-based group addressing local food and agriculture issues in the metropolitan area). It gives a good example of how ethnic food businesses and consumers as well as farmers and farm groups can be surveyed to assess the potential of ethnic market opportunities in New York City.

This market data is dated but may still be of interest to both lamb and goat producers. Additionally, the survey templates may be useful to other organizations and farmers planning market research. Separate surveys were conducted for lamb and goat meat consumers and venders in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.