Published on 14 - September - 2009
Garden centres grow share in bird care market despite recessionHTA reports that consumers have upped their spend on wild bird care products, with garden centres accounting for a quarter of all sales.
Research by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) revealed that, despite the recession, the nation's gardeners continue to feed wild birds, with a 22% increase in the amount spend on wild bird care products over the last two years.
In fact, purchases at garden centres account for around a quarter of all sales in the wild bird care market, which is estimated to be worth as much as £365m a year.
The findings, which are summarised in the HTA's 'GIM Consumer Insight - Feeding the Birds', showed that the average spend on wild bird food is £28.30, with six out of 10 garden owners stating that they feed the birds in their gardens, while one in four provide nesting or breeding habitats.
Among those who indicated that they fed birds in their garden, most said that they follow RSPB guidelines and feed birds throughout the year, not just in winter and 22% admitted to spending more in bird food now compared with two years ago.
The largest single share of the increased spend is through garden centres, with 24% of sales, followed by pet shops with 20% and supermarkets with 18%.
HTA Retail Management Group chair Caroline Owen said: "The wild bird care market is an increasingly important sector for the garden industry demonstrated by the fact that the average spend has increased so dramatically over the last two years. There is great potential for garden retailers to increase sales further on a year-round basis by running bird related promotions and events - tying in with local ornithological groups and events such as the RSPB'S Feed the Birds Days (October 24/25)."
She added: "Make the link too by cross selling wild bird care products with plants that are allied to bird feeding, with shrubs such as cotoneaster and firethorn and trees such as rowan and apple, which are known to attract birds."
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