Sustained high inflation has hit sales of home and garden products across most of Western Europe, as well as in many countries in the Asia Pacific region. With consumer confidence shaken by rising prices, exerting downward pressure on people’s purchasing power, shoppers are postponing purchases of big-ticket items like furniture, as they prioritise spending on daily essentials.
COVID-19 resurgence hits home and garden spending in China
The Asia Pacific home and garden market was also negatively impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in China in 2022, as the virulent Omicron variant spread rapidly across the country. Given the zero-COVID policy that the Chinese government kept in place until very late in the year, this meant significant disruptions through lockdowns and other reintroduced restrictions, as well as staff shortages across supply chains and in factories and retail outlets.
Emergence from pandemic sees Western European consumers spending more on experiences
As Western Europe emerged from the pandemic and its slew of restrictions, consumers with disposable income to spare, even in the face of rising inflation rates, were looking to spend more on experiences like travel and entertainment rather than physical products from industries like home and garden.
In addition, with many consumers having invested more than usual in their homes and gardens during periods of home seclusion in the pandemic, they were less likely to see the need to make replacement purchases in home and garden, particularly of big-ticket items, in the immediate post-pandemic period.
Sustainable and smart products drive growth
One common theme across Asia Pacific and Western Europe was consumers increasingly migrating towards more sustainable products, such as those made using natural materials like bamboo, or from reclaimed wood or recycled plastic.
There was also an increasing trend towards smart and automated products, particularly in Western Europe: for example, smart irrigation systems that that can water plants automatically based on the prevailing climactic conditions, the moisture content of the soil and other variables. Automated lawn maintenance equipment, such as robotic lawn mowers, has been gaining favour for some time, as it helps free up gardeners’ time so that they can spend more time relaxing in their gardens.
While rising inflation is likely to continue troubling both industry players and consumers at least in the short term (2023), both Asia Pacific and Western Europe are expected to see positive CAGRs of 2% and 1%, respectively, in real value terms over 2022-2027.
The pandemic, with its home seclusion, has served to help gardening to become a more popular pastime among home-owners in major Asia Pacific markets like China and India, while Indonesia is seeing the development of an interesting “tropical garden” trend, featuring often spacious gardens specifically designed for this country’s hot and humid climate.
Markets to watch
Asia Pacific will house all three of the most dynamic home and garden markets globally over the forecast period in Indonesia (7.0% CAGR), India (5.5%) and the Philippines (5.1%). The massive Chinese market will also be growing (2%), with only Japan (0%) significantly underperforming in this region. However, six of the 10 least dynamic country markets will be in Western Europe, including the region’s three biggest – Germany (1%), the UK (1%) and France (0%) – with only war-impacted Russia and Ukraine underperforming the French home and garden market.
For further insight on regional trends, country highlights and key data findings, see the full reports on Home and Garden in Western Europe and Home and Garden in Asia Pacific.
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