We got into seeds because it was the most efficient vehicle to deliver an everlasting food supply around the world. Plus, all the other seed companies have been around for a million years and still had Sears failed business model. We set out to take share in this market and make an impact at the same time.
Our first customers remember our first packs of seeds - hand stamped with labels printed on our HP Officejet 5740 all-in-one printer. Believe me when I tell you that they were packed with a lot of love. We expanded our offering from about 24 to over 100 varieties last year. But we realized that our value is not in our selection but in our selection. Let me break that down.
Burpee has a gazillion seed varieties to choose from. We will never be them nor do we want to be. What we lack in selection, we will make up in selection - or curation of products. See, most people want to grow the same things - Herbs, Peppers, Tomatoes, Summer varieties and cool season crops. So, we decided to bring value by logically packaging our products in a manor that is easy to understand and to buy.
We have tons of first time gardeners who love that we went through all the choices and put together the right package for the right customer. Its easy to buy and we make it easy to grow. Our Seed Kits come with an grow guide designed for the first time gardener. We were rookies not that long ago and we are distilling our knowledge and that of the internet into a handy illustrated growing guide.
The bigger ambition is to get into retail. We see natural food stores and fresh markets as a greenfield market. You garden because you value fresh, organic produce and that's also why 70% of their customers are gardeners. Our new products appeal to retail environments.
We designed the packaging ourselves and are excited about a new, colorful, branded offering. We are proud of our seeds and our mission and are proud of our new packaging. Now you can give these these as gifts - perfect for birthdays, bar mitzvahs, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas and graduation gifts.
We are starting with 4 seed kits (tomato, peppers, herbs and summer garden) in 2019 and expect to add a cool season kit by fall. We are eliminating individual packs when they come in a kit - and offer the few unkitted varieties that people actually buy.
Bottom line, we realize that we don't want to sell 42 cabbage varieties. We are focusing our offering to the lowest common denominator of the essentials - and doing that better than anyone. It will help us expand our reach in retail and online while keeping us focused on our giving mission. What do you think?