‘Provide a helping hand to local wildlife’
The desire from UK gardeners to protect wildlife and encourage animal visitors to their outdoor spaces has seen the wildlife product market continue to grow
any gardeners have long wished for their gardens to become havens for natural wildlife, with new product innovations helping to support many different species. “Wildlife gardening is a noble way to create special urban wildlife habitats,” says Wildlife World managing director Norman Sellers. “Consumers are also becoming more conscious of the environment; what products are made from and increasingly want to provide wildlife with a home by buying more products to help this initiative. Consequently, sales are rising across all our ranges. Our commitment to innovative features and attention to detail has gained us an enviable reputation in our market - and we’re very proud of that.”
He adds: “Our bird products have always been popular, especially our nesters and feeders. We are always developing new lines in response to the demand. Many of our product lines are seasonal and as a result of this, sales vary at different times of the year. We are dedicated to the conservation of all garden wildlife across a multitude of species. Our habitats are now benefiting wildlife all over the UK and Europe.”
Encouraging birds into the garden is often an easy starting point for gardeners looking to enjoy wildlife from their window.
Westland senior marketing manager Rachael Dickinson comments: “GfK data states that the Wild Bird Care market is in growth of 7% value, 8.5% volume (July 17 – June 18), mainly driven by food. “For Peckish, there has been a 45% growth
year-on-year, making us the fastest growing brand within the bird care market. A key strategy driving this success has been our commitment to promoting the brand within the garden centre channel, and our pledge to supporting garden centres and independent retailers. “The Total Wild Bird Care market is worth an estimated £300 million and, since our relaunch in September 2017, Peckish has become the fastest growing brand within the market, and the number one brand in the Ready To Use Feeder market with a 50% share.”
She adds: “TV programmes have played a big part in educating customers with shows such as Blue Planet and Spring Watch having a positive effect and creating a continued increase in awareness of the need to take care of our wildlife.
“Feeding the birds is a simple activity that gives the ‘feel good factor’ of doing something selfless and positive, whist having the benefit of seeing the garden come to life. There is now a well-documented association between wildlife and the mindfulness trend too, with the concept of finding a moment’s calm in the garden and giving back to nature.”
‘Encourage people to enjoy nature’ Garden centres can benefit by demonstrating how easy it is to bring wildlife into the garden. Norman comments: “Seasonal point of sale display units has boosted retail sales. Wherever possible we take videos of the products in use,
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which is educational, increases consumer awareness and illustrates how people can provide a helping hand to their local wildlife.” Rachael agrees that a combination of education and inspiration is important. “It is vital to inspire shoppers on how to attract different species of birds; educational POS and eye-catching and unusual displays are key to this,” she says.
“As part of our educational drive we have enlisted the help of Dr Matthew Brash, a celebrity vet and government advisor at the FERA wildlife research centre. Dr Brash has been providing support, advice and guidance for Peckish as well as making appearances at selected pet shops and garden centres which has proven to be a great way of offering extra brand engagement.
“We’ve also recently relaunched Peckish products to have a new look. It is brighter, more eye-catching and has less “noise” on the pack to truly highlight the product’s USPs and let the customer know in one glance what they are buying. “We also actively promote our products on
social media, through wider initiatives to encourage people to enjoy nature and the outdoors whilst linking back to Peckish. Our recent ‘Build A Bug Hotel’ video campaign on Facebook to coincide with half term activities was incredibly popular and had some great responses!” There is reason for optimism for the future too. Rachael comments: “Bird care brands and garden centres have the ability to continue to grow by supplying quality products that provide a better feeding performance, keeping shoppers coming back time and again. Decorative accessories for the garden will add value and drive impulse purchases.” Norman adds: “Online shopping is advancing all the time. In line with the rapidly expanding trend of online retail in other sectors, we expect to see almost 20% year on year growth for garden wildlife products. Consumers are becoming savvier about the world they live in and are turning to the internet to find a wider range of products which have a strong environmental ethic.”
Regardless of the channel in which they ultimately make a purchase, consumer demand for wildlife-encouraging products looks set to continue to grow.
GCU November/December 2018
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