Lavender growers have dozens of ways to boost their income from simply growing plants by creating value-added products using lavender. By taking a few simple additional steps, they can take their lavender harvest from a basic herbal commodity to valuable products that bring top dollar from consumers and high profit margins – in fact, markups of 500% to 800% are common.
For example, the market for natural personal care products, such as soaps and lotions, has grown to several billion dollars a year, as more and more health-conscious choose to go chemical free, substituting natural ingredients like lavender. A huge portion of those dollars is finding it’s way to small entrepreneurs mixing up profitable specialty products in a kitchen or garage.
Here are three proven value-added products that enjoy widespread appeal, substantial profit margins and repeat buyers:
Lavender bags. After lavender flowers are harvested and dried, the flower buds can be removed from the stems and used to make a simple sachet using plain organza or muslin bags. The three most popular uses for the bags are as dryer bags, bath bags and pet bags, each containing about a heaping tablespoon of dried lavender buds.
When the bags are used in the dryer to give clothes a fresh, chemical-free scent, they will last for up to ten repeat uses. Customers also love lavender bath bags. The soothing fragrance of a lavender bath is addictive, so customers keep coming back again and again. Pet owners, those with dogs in particular, love lavender bags. They can be added to a pet’s bedding to give it a fresh smell and repel fleas. Growers have also had success selling lavender pet pillows, which can be refreshed with new lavender bags.
Aromatherapy oil. Lavender oil is one of the most used essential oils in aromatherapy. It has a calming, soothing effect when it’s scent is inhaled. In addition to it’s calming effect, lavender oil is antibacterial and is often used to treat cuts, scrapes and bruises, as well as other skin problems like acne and athlete’s foot. Growers can extract the essential oil from the higher yielding varieties of lavender, using a simple steam distiller. Massage therapists are often repeat buyers of lavender essential oil, as many like to blend their own massage oil.
Lavender soap. Many view lavender soap as an aromatic essential in their bathroom. While a creative soap maker can make decorative soap bars in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes, the basic affordable lavender soap bars are the consistent best-sellers. Best of all, soap is another repeat product, with many customers using several bars a month. In addition, lavender soap is a popular gift item, and is often part of a lavender personal care gift basket with other lavender products like shampoo, lotion and bath bags.
As you can see, lavender provides plenty of opportunities to produce additional profits and stretch the selling season from harvest time to year-round. These are three of over 20 value-added lavender products covered in detail in my new book, LAVENDER FARMING. Click here to learn more.