Our phone has been ringing off the hook. Well, sort of. "How
much are your oilers?" one fellow asked after he explained his regular shopping
venue had recently raised prices. Naturally we tried to focus on the high quality of our
99% "clean" black oil sunflower seeds...we prefer selling the best nature has to
offer, not the rejects carried by most big boxy stores. From our perspective it's all
about value - offering great quality goods and products made to last rather than
scrambling to offer the cheapest stuff known to man (in terms of quality and price).
When it comes to bird seed there are several major "events"
influencing prices and they can be summarized in two words: trans-fats and ethanol. The
world wants to eliminate man-made Trans fatty acids a type of unsaturated fat
from human diets...so Frito-Lay buys a huge chunk of our nation's
sunflower crop to use the sunflower oil to fry up their batch of chips and assorted snack
foods. And they are but one major player in the marketplace.
Nearly every major restaurant in the food services industry has announced
plans recently of changes in selection of cooking oils and other food additives. Just this
week for example, Starbucks said they'd drop artificial trans fats from
the products of their yummy snacks, sandwiches and treats. So, guess what happens to the
price of any other product that uses sunflower seeds? Yep. Likely it will cost more
tomorrow than it did yesterday.
Ditto safflower. Our wholesale prices for seed are up from 5 to 32%. And,
because of the race to expand ethanol production for motor car fuel (E-85) most any corn
product will cost more too. We're all part of the world economy.