Down and Feather Prices Are Increasing
Down and Feather Prices Increase and Alternatives Are Introduced
The price of down and feathers on the commodity market continues to increase, driving down profit margins for retailers and distributors. As manufacturers raise the asking price for down by as much as 60%, down and feathers are fast becoming a strictly high-end offering only, which limits the type of customers retailers can attract.
The ever-increasing prices have a chain reaction all throughout the supply chain, as different players try and pass along the cost. This means that retailers who do not want to push that price burden on their already cautious consumer require an alternative to the down and feather filling.
A Growing Trend
As this interview on the Wall Street Journal reports, over the past three years, down and feather prices have been going steadily upwards.
1. One kilogram of white goose down that cost about €28 in 2009 sells for around $US64 today.1
2. The price of other types of down is also increasing. Duck feather, around €21 per kilo in 2009, now costs about €42 a kilo.1
Reasons for the Price Increase
It has been a volatile few years for down and feather prices, with a general increasing trend in the prices of both the raw material. Principal reasons for this include:
- Side-Effect: The majority of down and feather production is a by-product of raising ducks and geese for meat.
- Reduced Supply: Farmers are raising other poultry instead, thus making down harder to procure, driving up cost
To compensate for these shifting global trends, manufacturers are forced to push the production costs onto their clients. The result is a growing price increase starting from production all the way down the supply chain to the retail customer.
How will Consumers React?
While down and feathers are found in necessities that everyone buys (duvets, pillows and winter clothing) due to their loss aversion there is a limit that most people expect to invest in such commodities. The rising prices are firmly pushing the down and feather products into the higher end-category, reducing the amount of customers that opt to buy them, as well as reducing the profit margin.
For retailers looking to supplement the lost profits resulting from the price hike in down and feather category, the trend coincides with the consumer behaviour trend of looking for other natural alternatives that will give them the same or better results. Increasingly, they will look to bedding which gives them the same result within their purchase power.
Also, as customers continually look for healthy and natural products, those concerned with their allergies are increasingly drifting away from traditional down and feather. In the long term this market trend means that retailers cannot afford to invest more in down and feather while ignoring a fast growing potential customer base.
SilkFX™ Fibres, the Alternative to Down and Feather
Now is the time for growing retail business to re-orient themselves to the coming change with products that are already positioned to fill an existing demand. With the continue evolution of silk fibres, the opportunity exists for retailers to move away from down and feathers while still increasing profits.
The SilkFX™ fillings are positioned to be the right timed alternative to down. With a wide scale of products that attracts consumers in all price ranges from low, medium and higher price and attractive mark-up options, retailers who opt for this solution will benefit in these tangible ways:
- Providing customers exactly what they want, which is comfort and better sleep at an affordable price
- Avoiding the volatile market price of down and feathers, since silk production is a dedicated activity and not tied to a side-effect
1. Dana Mattioli, Goose Down is Flying High, The Wall Street Journal