Gardman is launching new wild bird care products and ranges for 2014.
The company's research revealed that despite the economic difficulties consumers continue to spend on feeding wild birds, with more than half of all consumers buying the products doing so once a month or more. The overall market grew by an estimated two per cent last year and with over half the total spend of around £200m being made in garden centres.
Marketing director Jane Lawler said: "This year we have made a significant investment in better understanding the preferences and behaviours of consumers. We have used the insights to re-define the segmentation and positioning of the product range and evolve our packaging designs and merchandising solutions with the intention of driving penetration and market growth.
"We are also staying true to our commitment of providing our customers with excellent deals and promotions and will be introducing a series of such throughout the year to drive sales volumes and profit."
Gardman used the findings of its consumer researchto develop its range in response to category trends, created special recipe blends for desirable species and increased the focus on purchase triggers such as squirrels and robins. It has also created a new look designed to encourage consumers to trade-up into better quality and high performance blends.
Lawler added: "Our research shows that one of the main opportunities for growth is in moving consumers up from single product and cheap blends of bird food to higher value products and we are presenting our range accordingly. The strongest growth within the category is coming from fats, suets, mealworms and feeders."
Some of the highlight feeds within the range include the Mealworm and Raisin Seed and Suet Cake, the Insect and Berry Suet Candle and the Mealworm Suet Treats. The triple feeders, which combine peanut, seed mix and fat snax feeders, and the globe dual seed and water feeding station are highlights of the new range of feeders as are several squirrel proof feeders.
Lawler said: "We are also working hard with retailers to optimise their retail space. By using the space effectively, whether it’s large or small, and with the right merchandising the evidence is clear that retailers will be able to boost sales. Using our research and resultant space planning tools, retailers can be certain they are getting the maximum return on the space employed."
In merchandising Gardman has introduced new colour blocked headers that will clearly signpost consumers to the products they are looking for while contoured end caps will provide better visibility. Bay dividers make the product segments clearer and there are special merchandising graphics for Robin, Finch and new Squirrel feature bays.