At this time in the hydroponic industry there are so many different nutrient ranges available in the UK and worldwide grow shops are being bombarded with them and its becoming impossible for the end user to choose the right one for them to use.
The cost plays a big part when choosing as the prices just keep going up, sometimes just for us in the UK. An example of this is Canna, probably the most well known nutrient company in the world and due to this the ever increasing cost can in part be put down to its popularity. "Its Canna and the people can't do without it so we (the manufactures and wholesalers) can charge the retailers what we want"
As a retailer we constantly have wholesaler price increases but can't put up the cost to the end user as its already expensive. One year the cost of Canna products to shop owners went up 14.5% but none of the retailers could put the retail cost up by that much as sales would stop. The wholesalers blame the manufacturers and vice versa but its the retailers who had to eat the profit loss.
It turns out that Canna only put up their cost to the manufacturers by 3%, it was the UK wholesalers who put up the cost by 11.5% and weirdly all of the wholesalers put it up by the same amount on the same day? Very strange.
Its was cheaper for retailers to buy Canna from Spain and have it shipped to the UK than it is to buy it from one of the UK wholesalers. Canna put a stop to this by putting UK flags on the bottles so their reps could see what bottles are on the shelves in shops and where they come from. They also said to European wholesalers that if they supplied UK shops they would have Canna taken away from them so stop it.
The other thing to take into account is the wholesalers all sell direct to the public through their own retail outlets and other companies like Amazon. This makes it very difficult for the retailers to compete online as the wholesalers can simply sell it for less and actually make more money than they do selling it to a retailer.
Also there is the word Brexit, not that its happened yet but the wholesalers love that word as it goes hand in hand with the reason for their price increases.
This brings me to why there are so many nutrient ranges available in the UK today...
UK sales of nutrients are massive compared to a lot of countries which is bringing in companies from all over the world who all claim to have the best nutrients and claim you will see the best results you've ever seen if you use them.
Out of a flooded market comes the UK manufactured nutrients made specifically for shops, branded with their own choice of company name and logo but more importantly cutting out the wholesalers which in turn cuts out the wholesalers costs which is in some cases being passed on to the end user, not all cases though. The mineral and organic compound quality is no different to the major brands, in most cases. Having said that some of the more well known brands still use low quality minerals which you will see when you come to do a tank change.
So the reasons there are so many different nutrient ranges are because of the size of the UK market and the apparent "we can charge more as its the UK" attitude, everyone wants a piece of it. And the uprising of local shops trying to find a profit they once had by having their own nutrients made.
Im going to end Part 1 with next time you go into your favourite Hydro Shop and think its the guys in the shop who are trying to over charge you for your favourite well known brand of nutrients compared to the price you can get it online bear in mind that in most cases they're not, and look for UK manufactured nutrients as it supports your local retailer against the tyranny of major international nutrient companies who over the years have not seen a drop in profit due to them passing on the cost increase down the line.
To come.... Part 2 Choosing a New Nutrient Range. Is there really any difference?