Are you missing out on a niche market that affects everyone at some time or other. Unfortunately, none of us lives forever. Everyone dies–whether we want to or not. And even though we know this, when we are the ones left behind, we grieve.
When my neighbor died recently, her grieving husband was overwhelmed with flowers that he didn’t know what to do with. He said that what he appreciated most was the food that was brought to him a week or two afterwards. The flowers were just something that he had to get rid of. People tend to give flowers because that is traditional and they don’t take the time to think of anything else.
But another option that not everyone thinks of is a sympathy gift basket. They can range from a “meal in a basket” to a “thinking of you” comfort basket to a “tea gift basket”. Depending on what you know about the recipient, you could include a keepsake mug, an appropriate comforting book, a sympathy candle or even lotions for a woman. If you are delivering the basket on the day of the funeral, fruit and appropriate snack foods to share with guests who drop by afterwards is usually welcome.
Jewish traditions are different than Christian ones and it helps to understand them if you are providing gift baskets when your Jewish customers are sitting Shiva. An article at Sitting Shiva will help the non-Jewish gift basket company owner have a better understanding of what is expected.
How do you market these baskets? If you have a website, make sure that you offer them there. If you have a retail store, a sample basket and signage will signal their availability. Many funeral homes have a page on their website where they list local florists for those who want to send flowers. Why not contact the director of the funeral homes and ask if they could include sympathy baskets from your company as an option? Newspapers oftentimes run ads for funeral homes and florists on the obituary page. A small tasteful ad is another way to keep this option in front of people.
This isn’t a niche that you will receive orders from every day but it is one that provides comfort to grieving families when it is needed.