ollowing a soft launch last spring, Wholesale Landscapes has seen extreme growth in demand for a product which delivers a sophisticated visual appeal combined with all the garden-health benefits of a mulch. The ground-breaking and innovative Black Forrest® was exclusively developed by Wholesale Landscapes, the Nelson-based company which is the South Island’s largest manufacturer of landscaping products. Now, Black Forrest® is trending as the ‘must-have wow factor’ for garden groundcover.
Several years ago when one of Wholesale Landscapes’ products achieved triple the demand over supply, the Wholesale Landscapes team had to go back to the drawing board. Wholesale Landscapes’ bark product Chocolate Mini Chip, a fine dark-coloured bark medium derived mainly from radiata pine, was used all over the South Island for a range of uses, from potting mix recipes to the final finishing touches in landscaping new homes. Local increases in construction and the growth of horticulture saw demand for Chocolate Mini Chip outstrip supply.
Wholesale Landscapes undertook vigorous market research into the features consumers liked about Chocolate Mini Chip. Then Wholesale Landscapes set itself a challenge – to fulfil customers’ requirements with an alternative product, providing better value and improved features, whilst being produced in a more sustainable way.
Ben Homan, National Sales Manager at Wholesale Landscapes, explains it this way:
“Our market research indicated that customers liked the mulching, colour, and durability properties of the Chocolate Mini Chip, so it was on these three features that Wholesale Landscapes focussed. We knew we had to look at sources other than bark, which had varying supply throughout the year. It was at this stage that testing on a variety of wood products took place, with the aim of alleviating the pressure of demand on decorative barks.”
The question this raised was – how do you go about making a wood-based product black, while retaining all the other features customers valued? Wholesale Landscapes discovered the solution lay in an all-natural, carbon-based, durable jet-black colourant being applied, through a computer-monitored process, to a small pine flake, sustainably-sourced from forestry waste. Following a further nine months of research and development to tweak it to perfection, Black Forrest® was market-ready.
After local councils, landscapers and lifestyle gardeners began using the product, feedback was very positive, resulting in a powerful word-of mouth marketing response which saw Wholesale Landscapes having to ramp-up production.
Black Forrest® is a premium, purpose-built, decorative mulch with jet-black colour, derived from a safe, toxin-free, environmentally-friendly, water-based colourant. It provides the key to a fashionable modern-style ground covering with the corollary benefits of weed suppression and moisture retention. This mulch also improves soil structure and plant health by adding beneﬁcial organic material to gardens.
Rated “Industry Best” for light and weather fastness, Black Forrest® will not leach colour when dry and its computer-monitored colour intensity stands up well to sun and frost. Aesthetically, laying Black Forrest® will make garden ﬂowers, plants and furnishings pop dramatically, contrasted against its clean, black background.
Improve the impact and effect of your landscaping project, incorporate Black Forrest® into your design and achieve the ‘wow factor’.