Landscaping Products Received Big Boost from Pandemic DIY Boom – But How Long Will It Last?

Landscaping Products Received Big Boost from Pandemic DIY Boom – But How Long Will It Last?

A new Freedonia Group analysis finds the US landscaping products market saw strong growth in 2020, as home improvement activities grew substantially and more households used funds typically reserved for travel or away-from-home entertaining on their houses:

  • Outdoor areas were a particular area of interest among consumers even before the pandemic, but with social distancing and other factors coming into play, the outdoor living trend accelerated sharply.
  • Outdoor spaces provided a safe alternative to crowded public spaces and indoor gatherings, and found increased use for socializing and entertaining.
  • Homeowners invested in improving both the aesthetics and functionality of outdoor spaces – adding hardscaping to expand the amount of usable space, garden beds and pots to grow food, and outdoor structures and decorative products like water features to optimize the “staycation” experience.

Across the board, landscaping products did well in 2020, including categories that have seen slower growth historically, like bird and wildlife products and statuary, which saw gains as people looked to add something unique or interesting to their yards.

How long will this lawn and garden party last? Below, we lay out some of the near- and long-term trends we expect to shape the landscaping products market going forward.

In 2021, Demand Is Slowing Along with DIY Activity, But Professional Sales Are Back On the Rise

Throughout 2021, demand for landscaping products is expected to remain elevated and continue to grow, as consumers continue to spend more time and money on their households than pre-pandemic.

In some households, renovations made in 2020 will spur larger, more elaborate projects or investments in 2021 – with professional work orders rebounding strongly as the pandemic recedes:

  • While DIY sales saw strong gains in 2020, professional sales did not grow quite as fast, preventing faster gains for hardscaping and other products often installed by professionals.
  • Work project cancellations or delays early in the pandemic caused temporary declines in revenue and limited overall yearlong gains.
  • Landscaping firms were forced to cut back on some capital spending in the short term.
  • The trend toward do-it-for-me (DIFM) landscaping was temporarily stunted as more consumers opted to undertake DIY projects with their extra time and to potentially prevent exposure to illness.

Beyond 2021, professional installations will rise back to their former, above average growth rates. Over the past year and a half, consumers were able to closely analyze what ways they could improve their home to fit their needs. Record-low interest rates and additional cash from stimulus checks will also promote further investment in homes.

Furthermore, the home and work life balance is likely to remain shifted in the near term. With more workplaces allowing employees to work from home, homeowners are taking a closer look at what they value in their homes and what areas they want to use more often.

Outdoor Living Trends Will Benefit the Commercial Market

In a reflection of the trend among homeowners, more commercial property owners are placing emphasis on creating outdoor spaces that can serve their needs. Business owners and property management companies are seeking to provide customers with space to dine or socialize outdoors or to improve aesthetics. Looking forward, these trends are expected to continue as more property owners see the value in having attractive and functional outdoor areas.

Gardening Participation Grows & Creates Larger Base Going Forward

The number of gardeners in the US continues to grow.

Prior to the pandemic, more consumers, particularly younger generations, were participating in gardening – opting to try out food gardening or becoming “plant parents”. The pandemic expanded this trend as households looked to grow their own food or improve the aesthetics of their outdoor spaces, spurring gains for products like pots, planters, and raised beds, among other items.

While it is likely this spike in gardening will decline somewhat in the coming years, it is expected to raise the base of gardeners to whom landscape suppliers can market their products, which will improve opportunities for sales going forward.

Landscaping Product Demand to Hit $11 Billion in 2025

Following the rapid growth of the pandemic period, demand for landscaping products is expected to continue to rise at a healthy 2.6% annual rate through 2025, reaching $10.7 billion. Hardscaping will maintain its market lead, and lighting products and pots, planters, and raised beds will also see healthy growth – all benefiting from the pandemic-driven acceleration of outdoor living and gardening trends.

Meanwhile, bird and wildlife products are expected to see declines as the pandemic recedes and new birdwatchers retire the hobby to resume more of their pre-pandemic habits. Decorative products will grow at a below average rate due to the large number of products purchased over the pandemic:

  • Decorative products are generally easy to assemble and install, though some water features can require professional expertise.
  • As such, these products benefited strongly from surging DIY activity during the pandemic, but will see less benefit as trends renormalize in the professional market.

Want to Learn More?

Landscaping Products is now available from the Freedonia Group.