Ah, the great outdoors: vast, wild…yet increasingly domestic, thanks to rising interest in outdoor living, a market on which US consumers spent $25 billion in 2018, according to a report from The Freedonia Group. After all, who (save for maybe Thoreau) wouldn’t want to take the comforts of home outside without having to sacrifice functionality or style? Even architects are blurring the line between our indoor and outdoor lives, signaling an expansive new phase in the trend. And few stand to gain more over the long term than lawn and garden suppliers.
The Freedonia Group’s series of lawn and garden studies analyze the impact of outdoor living trends on a range of markets. Here are a few promising areas to watch.
1. Outdoor Furniture
For some consumers, outdoor living would be a hard sell were it not for exterior furnishings that recreate the comforts of the indoors, including plush seating, modern tables, shade umbrellas, and hammocks for lounging. In a market where form is increasingly valued alongside function, these once-basic products are becoming more sophisticated, incorporating higher-value materials and elaborate designs to meet buyers’ loftier aesthetic goals.
In addition, many suppliers are opting for trendier marketing language – such as “chat” or “conversation” set – to underscore the enhanced utility of their outdoor furniture collections.
For more on the latest in outdoor furniture, check out Freedonia’s Outdoor Furniture & Grills study.
2. Grills & Outdoor Kitchen Equipment
If there’s one thing consumers love more than relaxing outdoors, it’s eating. And when the two go hand-in-hand? Even better. So it’s not surprising that grills are common outdoor living fixtures.
However, some foodies with cash to burn are taking it a step further, installing full outdoor kitchens equipped with ranges, refrigeration, and even pizza ovens. In fact, outdoor kitchens represent one of the fastest growing outdoor living comfort-making product segments, with 6.2% annual growth expected through 2022.
For more, see Freedonia’s Outdoor Furniture & Grills and Outdoor Kitchens studies.
3. Landscaping Products
In addition to comfort, outdoor living calls for enhanced aesthetics of outdoor spaces – because how much use could a cozy chat set truly get in an unattractive yard? Hence, outdoor living usually entails significant landscaping activity, whether on a do-it-yourself or do-it-for-me basis. The Freedonia Group’s Landscaping Products study identifies the products with the strongest growth opportunities:
- Hardscaping products are frequently used in outdoor living installations to create patios, decks, walkways, and alcoves, and to hedge plots.
- Pots and planters for flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other live goods are another way to boost aesthetics at relatively low cost.
- Higher-value gazebos, greenhouses, pergolas, and other outdoor structures have seen consistent average growth since 2013 due to outdoor living’s popularity.
- Trickling fountains, ponds, or other types of water features – which constitute the largest decorative landscaping product group – can add a sense of tranquility to an outdoor living setting.
- Lighting, heating, and fire elements are key landscaping products for outdoor living enthusiasts, as they can be used to extend the time that can comfortably be spent outside.
4. Live Goods & Consumables
Of course, no landscaping project would be complete without copious live plants. Whether for edible or purely decorative purposes, consumers can use flowers, trees, shrubbery, and other live goods to provide the final touch that elevates a mere yard to an outdoor living oasis.
In addition, expanding interest in gardening – the ultimate outdoor living hobby – among millennials and baby boomers alike will sustain growth for consumables such as fertilizer, pesticides, growing media, seeds, and mulch.
Perhaps that’s why big-box retailers like Walmart are implementing mobile checkout and other smart technology solutions that make for a more seamless garden center experience.
See Freedonia’s Live Goods, Lawn & Garden Consumables, and Lawn & Garden Consumables: Consumer Insights studies for more information.
5. Lawn & Garden Tools, Wheeled Implements, Power Equipment, & Robots
All of the landscaping and gardening activity spurred by outdoor living trends also bodes well for the tools, implements, and power equipment needed for planting and maintenance. From basic spades and wheelbarrows, to power trimmers, to AI-equipped robotic lawnmowers, these items can range from essential to novelty, and vary dramatically in price and function.
As such, they also vary in the types of consumers they attract. For example, outdoor living enthusiasts who lack a green thumb or who have limited outdoor space may select more basic tools, whereas hardcore gardeners, professional service providers, or property managers with a lot of ground to cover may opt for more elaborate gadgets with higher performance properties.
For more, check out the Freedonia studies Lawn & Garden Hand Tools & Wheeled Implements, Power Lawn & Garden Equipment, Global Power Lawn & Garden Equipment, and Lawn & Garden Robots.
About the Author:
Peter Kusnic is a Content Writer with The Freedonia Group, where he researches and writes studies focused on the consumer goods and packaging industries.