In the wake of the housing crisis, communities nationwide began greening blighted and disinvested properties. Green spaces, community gardens, even “agrihoods” – or neighborhoods organized around a working farm – came into fashion not only for their aesthetic value, but their utility as well. In addition to providing a fresh food source for community members, such spaces are demonstrated to significantly reduce crime (an effect observed to “spill over” into adjacent neighborhoods), raise property values, and quell urban loneliness by providing a “third space” for people to socialize outside of work and home.
And while community gardens aren't expected to significantly drive demand in the $880 million market for lawn and garden hand tools and wheeled implements in the US, they have at least grown high-profile enough to attract attention - and donations - from the leading manufacturers of these products.
Consider the Secateurs: Creating a Green Space for Everyone
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, a successful community garden accommodates neighbors of all ages and abilities. From the materials used to fill pathways to the elevation of growing containers, designers must consider the whole community when planning a public garden.
As such, ergonomics is key in selecting lawn and garden tools and implements, which are often available for anyone’s use when a community garden is open to visitors. From trowels, hoes, and secateurs to wheelbarrows and fertilizer spreaders, every community garden requires tools and implements in order to operate, and many community gardeners often supplement what’s available with their own products.
In the overall US market, there is little brand recognition for tools and implements, and consumers tend to opt for the least expensive products available, often sacrificing quality as a result. In a community garden setting, however, products with better ergonomics and durability are preferred, if more expensive, because they last longer and facilitate ease-of-use – such as for elderly people who may suffer from arthritis, or children whose small hands call for smaller tools.
Market Leaders Dig In
Many of the nation’s leading suppliers of lawn and garden tools and implements have spearheaded initiatives to support community gardens and other green spaces. Through partnerships with local nonprofits, companies can raise brand recognition and impress their environmental mission on potential consumers, whose concerns about the environment have risen considerably in recent years, along with a trend of consumers preferring to buy from companies that share their values.
For example, ScottsMiracle-Gro’s GRO1000 program, which began in 2011, supports the development of 1,000 community gardens across North America and Europe through the allocation of grant money and gardening supplies. As of 2018, the company is just one garden short of its goal, having helped to fund the transformation of 12,800,000 square feet of vacant space and the donation of more than 560,000 pounds of produce annually.
Fiskars also participates in community outreach. Since its inception in 2002, the company’s Project Orange Thumb grant program has provided financial and material resources totaling $1.7 million to more than 240 North American community garden organizations.
Want to Learn More?
Check out the Freedonia Group’s recent study, Lawn & Garden Hand Tools & Wheeled Implements in the US, which provides historical demand data (2007, 2012, and 2017) and forecasts (2022) for these products in the US market by Product Type and Distribution Channel. The study also includes analysis of relevant consumer trends based on Simmons Market Research survey data, as well as supplier profiles detailing market share, product mix, and competitive strategies.
Interested in digging a little deeper into the higher horsepower side of the lawn and garden market? Download "How to Compete in the Global Market: Recommendations & Opportunities for Power Lawn & Garden Equipment Executives", a new white paper from the Freedonia Group.
About the Author:
Peter Kusnic is an Industry Studies editor at The Freedonia Group, where he also writes and edits blogs.