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Gardening in Europe: Emerging Markets and Future Prospects

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Global market research company Euromonitor International offered a presentation at the leading event for the gardening industry in Italy, My Plant and Garden in Milan.

The presentation highlights that while the Western European gardening market has shown sluggish growth in the last five years due to the economic crisis and adverse weather conditions, Eastern and Nordic Europe are offering new opportunities, with Romania being the European fastest-growing market for gardening. In the future, growth is predicted both in Eastern and Western Europe. Urbanisation, growing interest in sustainability, ethical living and sustainability, the increasing popularity of internet retailing and discounters, as well as the ageing population are set to re-shape the European gardening market.  Please find more information below.


Gardening growth in Western Europe impacted by economic crisis and weather conditions

According to new Euromonitor research, Western Europe is the second-largest region for gardening value sales, ranked second after North America. Germany, France and the UK are the largest Western European markets in the region, accounting for 37% value share. On the other hand, slow economic recovery in countries in Southern Europe, such as Italy, led to value growth declines within the gardening category, as cautious consumers were discouraged from buying high-priced products.

Romania and Poland offer untapped opportunities for the gardening market

Gardening is a mature market in most Western European countries, and value growth over the forecast period is expected to remain sluggish as a result. On the contrary, Eastern Europe shows potential still unexploited. In Eastern Europe each person spent an average of USD7 on gardening products in 2016 vs USD 62 per person in Western Europe. The largest gardening market in Eastern Europe remains Russia, which is also the fastest-declining though due to adverse economic conditions, growing inflation, sanctions and low oil prices.

Opportunities are coming from Romania and Poland instead. Gardening is growing at a fast pace in these countries and has a large room for growth, as the category is still underdeveloped.

In Romania, the category was positively influenced by the expansion of the specialised chained retailers, which have played a key part in educating the consumers; these retailers not only have affordable prices for their products but they also have a very diverse portfolio.  There is a rising interest for gardening among urban dwellers as they are more inclined to have pots and planters, plant their own herbs and spices etc.

Also in Poland, in the urban areas, there is a growing interest in green living surrounding, which translate to higher interest in indoor plants and pots and planters.

Consumers in Poland tend to pay more attention to appropriate care of their indoor plants with a greater awareness of appropriate soil and fertilisers. Polish consumers also look for green spaces outside the city centre to have a place that they can rest. With growing interest in spending time in green area there is a greater need for gardening equipment and lawn mowers to keep the areas well maintained. Adequate maintenance is also linked to higher sense of aesthetics that Poles are developing.  Another category that sees a growth is seeds. Poles are interested in indoor growing of various herbs and flowers that are situated both, inside their flats and houses as well as in balconies/terraces. The trend is stimulated by diverse published media and TV programs which tend to motivate more consumers towards trying indoor planting. This behaviour is popular among baby boomers as well as younger generations, Millennials and Generation Z who are very keen on self-sustain, ecological approach in their lives.

Nordic countries interest in gardening keeps growing

Nordic countries are also offering new opportunities to European gardening manufacturers. The growing interest in gardening is linked to the specific climate but also to the increased wealth of these countries.

Future growth will be driven by Nordic and Eastern European Countries

The Nordic countries will continue driving growth in the next five years, along with Romania, which represents the fastest growing country in Europe for gardening in the next five years.

The future for gardening in Europe in not gloom and doom

However, Western European countries can also capitalise on trends that can favour the gardening industry such as ageing population, internet retailing and longer growing seasons. Internet retailing still accounts for a small share of gardening sales, however, it is growing quickly, boosted by the implementation of click-and-collect services, promotions and free/low-cost deliveries. Discounters and internet retailing are growing in value share, as they appeal to consumers looking for price transparency and affordable products.

Urbanisation is also driving a growing interest in indoor gardening, which could offer potential opportunities to the gardening industry.

Western Europe’s economic situation is significantly improving and disposable incomes are increasing. Consumers will have more money to spend on items that are traditionally not considered strictly necessary, such as gardening items. As a result value growth is expected to be stronger in the next five years. Gardening in Western Europe is increasingly being affected by the urbanisation trend. With living spaces becoming smaller, the size of gardens is also declining. The trend has led to the spread of urban gardening, with people doing indoor cultivations in order to reconnect with nature and counter pollution. The health and wellness trends are also having a positive effect on gardening in Western Europe. As environmental concerns are rising in the region, consumers want to know what they are eating and where products are sourced from. The increased popularity of organic and grow-your-own food helped the category recover from the negative post-economic crisis years. The sustainability and ecological trends, along with consumers’ interest in healthier lifestyles, are particularly favouring the growing media and horticulture categories. Gardening in Western Europe remains an activity conducted mainly by older generations, particularly baby boomers, therefore the ageing population will be a driver for the gardening industry. Thus, millennials have little knowledge of gardening and show little interest in this activity. Low maintenance gardens are the most preferred by Western Europe’s young generations as they require less time and money.


To find out more, join Euromonitor International’s free webinar: Selling Home and Garden to Millennials

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