From Crisis to Innovation
The 2022 Garden Trends Report — From Crisis to Innovation from Garden Media Group outlines the shift that has occurred in the green industry and beyond. It goes past “The Great Reset” of 2021 and guides us through the customer mindset to better fit green products and services into this post-pandemic lifestyle.
“We’re done holding our breath in anticipation of what will happen to green businesses,” says Katie Dubow, president. “Our industry has grown exponentially, now is the time to make big moves to keep this new customer. The 2022 trends show a bright future for garden brands.”
Here are the eight trends that Garden Media Group predicts will shape the future.
1. Creator Class
When times go well, people stick to the rules — but not always. In 2022, it will be innovators who rise above others and maintain the economic recovery. These leaders are the Creator Class, and research shows they are leaving steady jobs for passion projects.
“This new class of people is shaping their future not as part of corporations, but as individuals,” says Dubow. “They are drawn to create and innovate on their terms, creating successful microbusinesses in the community.”
Microbusinesses are also driving the “shop local” message that garden retailers can capitalize on.
“Keep promoting your local shop message, charitable contributions, or how you are working to bring together community,” says Dubow. “Invite local creators in for a Localtopia event, collaborate on new products, and share in their social reach.”
The quick change to virtual demanded everyone to adjust and improve. Every sector pivoted, including social media.
“The pandemic accelerated online shopping,” Dubow says. “The customer will be expecting your store to offer products for sale directly from social platforms, known as Shoppertainment. In the U.S., social commerce may reach 4.2% of retail e-commerce sales in 2022 or $36.09 billion.”
3. Zoning Board
Home improvement projects show no signs of slowing down. Zoning will be the latest idea — creating spaces pertaining to each need of work and play.
Some key zones for retailers to consider catering to are front yard zones. Social media searches for “front yard” or “front porch” have reached a five-year high. By positioning plants and products to suit this space, IGCs can react to trends by driving sales. People want container plants that look good and are low-care.
“Defining spaces for comfortable and safe entertainment is top of mind for homeowners,” Dubow says. “Out front, they can welcome people into their space without crossing the threshold.”
4. Bridging the Gap
2021 was the year of “The Great Reset.” With any reset, you need to start at the beginning. For the estimated 18.3 million new gardeners gained the past year, this means basic knowledge.
“Our challenge is building a bridge for these instant gratification customers to turn into lifetime gardeners,” Dubow says. “Build a foundation made up of products and information specific to your customers’ interest — whether it’s edibles, gardening for wildlife, containers, or the DIY generation.”
By bridging the gap in products for beginners, garden centers will lead new customers to success. And note, the more personalization, the better. But be sure to offer quality products, and don’t overwhelm newbies with too many choices.
5. Living Television
Many discovered or even rediscovered birding last year. Sales of feeders and feed were projected to hit $2.2 billion in sales in 2021.
Make it easy for new bird enthusiasts to shop the essentials by designing and merchandising collections to feed birds. Provide plant lists, merchandising, and guides, and lead birdwatching walks or host birding clubs to support and engage this group.
6. On-Demand Flowers
Flowers are the new hugs. In times when hugging and personal connections are limited, people show their appreciation by giving flowers. The act of both giving and receiving flowers triggers the feel-good hormones in our brains.
Whether a pandemic, personal pleasure or a signal of an elevated lifestyle, cut flower bouquet sales in the U.S. reached 6.5 billion in 2021 and are predicted to surpass that in 2022.
“Over 50% of cut flowers are purchased at the grocery store,” Dubow says. “Think about the sales we could attract if garden retailers set up cut flower stations.”
To capitalize on the cut flower trend, promote potted flowering plants, teach customers the best flowers for cutting gardens, and host flower arranging workshops.
An added benefit of this trend is increased plant sales because consumers want to buy the plants they see in their bouquets.
7. Wild Curation
New research shows that one in five of the world’s plants — 4,400 in the U.S. — are at risk of extinction. Plants — and their incredible diversity — make life possible. This is why there will be a demand for a renewed focus to prevent further plant extinctions.
Gardens such as Mt. Cuba Center in Delaware have led conservation efforts with research, fundraising and the creation of extinction gardens.
“Your business can provide key education to customers as well,” Dubow says. “Teach them how certain activities can harm or help extinct plants. You’ll be surprised how some of the plant parents flexing on social media will be easy to bring into the conservation fold.”
Awareness and observation over time will help people develop their keen eye and save wild plants.
8. In Living Color
The most anticipated trend each year is the hue that’s catching the consumer’s eye. This year the color is clover, representing the first sign of spring, renewal and rebirth.
“Green is optimistic, rejuvenating, invigorating, upbeat, and — importantly — inspired by nature,” Dubow says. “Use this trending color in biophilic design elements in offices, work it into shades of new collections, and merchandise with pillows, containers, or accessories.”
Garden Media Group ignites buzz for clients, offers innovative public relations campaigns, and secures top media placements and partnerships. The boutique PR and marketing firm is known as the best in the home, garden, horticulture, outdoor living, and lawn and landscape industries. The annual Garden Trends Report is one of the most published garden studies in trade and consumer news. Visit www.gardenmediagroup.com for more information.