Birds of a Feather Flock Together

BEAK, a new avian-focused industry organization, strives to raise awareness of—and appreciation for—the rewards of bird ownership.



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Leaders in the pet bird trade have formed BEAK, the Bird Enjoyment & Advantage Koalition, a new industry organization dedicated to growing bird ownership. 

In a more detailed sense, BEAK is a strong alliance of bird product manufacturers, retailers, associations and caregivers with shared interests specifically formed to address the need for bird ownership growth. BEAK’s goal is to generate awareness and grow responsible bird ownership by providing the information and resources to help determine if a bird is a good fit for a home and help match the right type of bird with a home environment. With solid financial commitments, they are starting strong but are still seeking additional support for this significant initiative. Why is this important?

While other segments of pet ownership have been on the rise in the past several years or decades even, bird ownership has been on the decline. There is a serious need to analyze why this category is not growing at the same rate as other pet types, and BEAK is taking center stage at a comprehensive look into important factors including supply and demand, changing lifestyles and consumer habits. This coalition is working to identify challenges and opportunities with breeders, retailers, pricing, products and specific bird breeds. They hope to educate the public by identifying existing resources and developing needed assets to help potential bird owners understand appropriate bird types and responsible care. 

“For whatever reason, the perception has changed over the years,” says Brent Weinmann, president and CEO Vitakraft/Sunseed and BEAK founder and co-chair. “But we understand that just as trends on specific products can change over time, so too can trends in ownership, and we intend to adapt and change instead of just fade into the horizon. We are confident that we can breathe new life into the hobby of bird-keeping, and we believe we owe that to the many potential owners out there who’ve yet to experience all the wonderful qualities these animals can offer.”

Working as a group, BEAK will start with research and a landscape assessment, and set forth a strategic plan of action to drive industry initiatives, change perception and behavior and, ultimately, grow the category. The goal is to increase the number of responsible bird owners in the U.S. to at least previous levels of 6.7 million in 2002 by 2020. The 2015/2016 American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey reports latest bird ownership numbers at 6.1 million U.S. households. 

This is an accomplishment that will certainly require additional financial and organizational support. Current supporters include APPA, the Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA), and manufacturers F.M. Brown’s, Hagen, Higgins Premium Pet Foods, Kaytee, Lafeber, Prevue Pet Products, Vitakraft Sunseed and ZuPreem. 


For more information on BEAK or how you can support increased pet bird ownership, please contact: Steve Hellem, BEAK Executive Director at shellem@navista.net or 202-441-0942

 

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