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Grow Wild Bird Seed Sales with Attractive Displays

The market size for wild bird feed and feeders is $4.4 billion in the United States, according to the Wild Bird Feeding Industry’s benchmark study released this month.

And it stands to grow even bigger, especially at hardware stores which are the third most popular destination for buying wild bird seed and feeders.

According to the same study, among those who do not buy wild bird feed or feeders, half say that they “just never have,” suggesting that with education and attraction, an interest could develop in wild bird feeding, moving even more consumers to become purchasers.

It’s been proven that retail customers’ sales boost significantly when they commit to off-shelf merchandising and display attractive sets.

It’s also important to know that while the need to feed wild birds peaks certain times during the year it is a popular year-long activity with 49 percent of feed purchasers buying regularly at least every two to three months. This reinforces the need for attractive sets year-round to grow your sales.

bird-feed-display1Global Harvest Foods recently sponsored a display contest with Tops Markets. The event was a huge success with a 20 percent increase in wild bird food sales during the event.

Global Harvest Foods also sponsored a display contest in February of last year for hardware retailers in honor of National Bird Feeding Month and saw a 10 percent increase among the hardware retailers who participated. The retailers found this event to be so inspirational for their merchandisers that the company is sponsoring the event again this year.

It’s a simple strategy and it can work for you, too. Maximize your sales of wild bird seed all year long with these tips:

Help customers buy the right product: Place educational POP material that directs consumers to the appropriate type of feed for the types of birds they hope to attract.

  • For instance, many people, especially in desert climates like Arizona, are trying to attract ground feeding birds like quail or doves. In those cases point them to a standard or budget mix of bird seed that is high in Milo and Cracked Corn. Direct people that love jays to mixes with high corn content. People who want finches to come to their feeders should try a finch mix, Nyjer® seed, or sunflower hearts.
  • For retailers who are short on space, we recommend small “shelf talkers” with pictures of appropriate birds they can place near the appropriate type of feed.

Place the appropriate types of feeders near the seed that should fill them.

  • For instance, place the Nyjer® seed/thistle feeders near the Nyjer Seed and finch food. Place the larger tray and hopper feeders near Woodpecker, Nuthatch, and Sunflower Seed. The tube feeders should be placed by the standard wild bird mixes.

Set-up a special display twice a year outside on the sidewalk or inside near the front entrance of the store to reach customers who don’t typically travel to your bird seed aisle.   

Upon executing these strategies you can expect to increase your gross profit dollars significantly and capture more of the wild bird seed market. Your customers’ yards will sing and register cha-ching.

About Ed Mills

Ed Mills is president and co-founder of Global Harvest Foods Ltd., a wild bird food and small critter/pet food manufacturer founded in 1982. Email him at emills@ghfoods.com.

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