According to a survey by HTA (Horticultural Trades Association) in June 2020, 2.9 million new gardeners were visibly active in the UK after the initial major lockdown.
The “staycation effect” was a major driver for extreme demand spikes evident during the peak summer season in 2021, with garden centres posting 50-70% sales growth between February and June 2021 compared to pre-pandemic levels. This season was responsible for a third of the growth recorded during the year.
Gardening in the UK has been subjected to some extreme disruptions, although these had less of an impact in 2021 compared to 2020. Initially deemed to be non-essential, home improvement and gardening stores, the dominant distribution channel for gardening, was negatively impacted by store closures of up to 16 weeks, and in the case of garden centres, whilst representing 30% of the retail year, the impact was far worse as it also affected the peak months of March to May, particularly for sales of products such as compost.
The grow-your-own food trend will continue to be an underlying growth driver over the forecast period, linked to further demand for soil, fertiliser and pots and planters. There are secondary gains from this trend linked to pest control, herbicides, seeds and irrigation systems (watering).
The boom in indoor plants from 2020 and 2021 is indicative of two wider factors. The rural urbanites trend is strongly evident in the UK, with London one of the cities that stands out for the migration trend towards the suburbs and countryside, compounded by those who cannot or will not migrate but need to create a rural feel inside the living space they control.
The UK has a particularly strong trend towards peat-free compost (soil). This is not found in other European markets to the same degree, with the UK planning to ban peat in garden compost from 2024, and for nursery-grown plants by 2028.
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Includes: products purchased by consumers through retail channels. Excludes: commercial sales to professional landscapers / groundskeepers / tradesman / contractors etc for gardening / landscaping. Excludes: outdoor furniture, be it self-assembly or ready-made, which is tracked under Outdoor Furniture. Excludes: Barbecues and Garden Sheds, which are tracked under Outdoor LivingSee All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Gardening research and analysis database.
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