Bayer looks to fertilisers and alternatives to neonicotinoids for 2016

Bayer Garden has relaunched its Phostrogen brand, its Baby Bio Outdoors product and changed the formulation of its Provado Ultimate Bug Killer.

Bayer’s research indicated that Phostrogen is a trustworthy brand (57 per cent of respondents), is high quality (49 per cent), is for serious gardeners (58 per cent) and has a great reputation (47 per cent). 

Bayer product manager Alison Mulvaney said: "Phostrogen has strong nostalgic roots. For our new look we made sure we captured the trust in the brand and its reputation for being high quality and effective.  The new contemporary feel will attract less confident gardeners but we haven’t forgotten our loyal and confident customers; they will recognise the product that for many decades they have made sure is in their shed."

The product is also now available as Phostrogen Patio Plant Food. 

Baby Bio Outdoor launched in 2015 but Mulvaney said was not successful so Bayer has "streamlined the range and is introducing new packaging with a look and feel that closely echoes Baby Bio Original". 

Baby Bio Outdoor for Flowers & Shrubs and for Fruit & Vegetables are the new products. Trials have shown increases of up to 35-70 per cent compared to feeding with standard NPK plant food.

Bayer research showed 53 per cent of people agreed they’d use indoor plant food and 59 per cent agreed they’d use outdoor plant food if the benefits were clear.

Mulvaney said: "Our figures suggest there’s a missed opportunity of £6.2 million in sales in the fertiliser category. People don’t buy plant food because they’re not sure why, when and how to feed.  The set up of the category in-store makes things worse: it doesn’t reflect people’s use of fertilisers and often looks muddled."

The research also revealed what people feed.  Indoors they feed flowering and non-flowering plants and orchids while outdoors they feed containers, hanging baskets and roses.

"To drive up sales the fixture needs to mirror these preferences," Mulvaney added.  "It’s also got to address people’s hesitancy. They’re not clear about the benefits of feeding and are worried they could do more harm than good. The fixture needs to give them, at a glance, the information they need to become confident feeders."

Bayer Garden’s new approach incorporates consumer-led segmentation of the category, drivers to action and merchandising that makes it easier to shop.

Bayer Garden conducted 750 online interviews, a series of detailed focus groups, in-store filming and ‘accompanied shopping trips’ during which the consumer talked about what they were or were not buying and why. 

Meanwhile, the UK’s number one insecticide, Provado Ultimate Bug Killer will have a new active ingredient in 2016: deltamethrin, replacing neonicotinoid thiacloprid.

Mulvaney said: "Deltamethrin is a very effective weapon against unwanted garden insects.  It’s fast acting and can be used on ornamentals and an incredibly wide range of fruit and vegetables. We’re introducing this active ingredient to as a proactive step in recognition of the likelihood that the regulations and legislation around neonicotinoids will alter. This change means our retailers will continue to be able to meet the needs of their customers."

Bayer added: "Neonicotinoids have become a contentious issue. It is likely that the regulations and legislation around Thiacloprid will change in the near future, and Bayer has decided to be proactive about changing its products to meet the demands of these changes.
"Deltamethrin is a very effective weapon against unwanted garden insects, and we will use this active ingredient under both the Provado and Baby Bio brand names. For those who prefer to garden naturally Bayer Garden is introducing a new organic insecticide, currently seeking registration from CRD.  Certified for use by Organic Farmers and Growers Bug Free contains natural fatty acids and is suitable for use on ornamentals, fruit trees and vegetables. "

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