This study covers the United States market for live goods, encompassing plants, trees, and shrubbery. Analysis of the live goods market in the US is provided by:
product (bedding/garden plants, indoor/patio plants, trees and shrubs, and other live goods)
end user (professional and consumer/do-it-yourself)
region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West)
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For the purposes of this study, live goods include items that are sold as live goods and are able to continue their life cycles following the sale.
Historical data for 2008, 2013, and 2018 and forecasts to 2023 are provided for sales in current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation). Data are provided at the growers’ level (unless noted otherwise), which includes both wholesale sales to other businesses and retail sales to individuals.
Bedding and garden plants include flowering, foliage, and vegetable plants intended for outdoor use.
Indoor and patio plants include flowering and foliage plants for indoor or patio use.
Trees & Shrubs
Trees and shrubs include nursery stock such as deciduous trees, evergreens, deciduous shrubs, and fruit and nut plants.
Other Live Goods
Plants in the other live goods category include nursery stock plants such as aquatic plants, cacti and succulents, groundcover and vines, landscaping palms, and ornamental grasses.
Live Goods Supported by Several Key Cultural Trends Through 2023
Sales of live goods – including plants, trees, and shrubbery – are expected to increase 2.5% per year through 2023 to $12.1 billion. While sales of these products are dependent on macroeconomic factors, several key cultural trends are spurring gains and creating sales opportunities for retailers, such as the:
growing outdoor living movement, which is renewing interest in lawn and garden maintenance as a hobby
rising urbanization and gains in the share of renters, which are supporting sales of indoor plants to help freshen the air and bring in outdoor aesthetics
expansion of e-commerce into the live goods market, increasing the availability of plants and making the purchase of live goods more convenient
Plants with strong growth prospects include food plants, low maintenance types, plants that suit a specific décor, and those that enable environmentally friendly practices such as low water usage and support for pollinators.
Key Findings in the
Live Goods: Plants, Trees & Shrubbery Study:
Vegetable and Fruit Plant Sales, Helped by Millennials, Continue to Drive the Market
Food gardening continues to increase in popularity, supported by growing participation in sustainability and organic gardening. Consumers want to know what is in their food and where it is coming from, pushing them to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Additionally, millennials are increasingly interested in owning plants and gardening, including food gardening. Millennials, who have delayed starting families, are raising plants, both indoors and outdoors, and becoming “plant parents”.
Low Maintenance and Aesthetically Pleasing Plants are Equally Important to Consumers
Per consumer survey research, the qualities consumers most look for when buying plants are low maintenance and pleasing aesthetics, whether that be for indoor or outdoor spaces. Low maintenance is important for consumers who do not want to spend many hours maintaining a garden. Additionally, novice gardeners find such plants less intimidating than their more difficult-to-grow counterparts. However, a plant’s appearance is still equally crucial to consumers’ plant buying decisions. Indoor plants are chosen to complement or contrast with a room’s current décor, and outdoor plants are chosen to increase curb appeal. Plants that offer both low maintenance and unique aesthetics – like cacti and succulents – should continue to see strong gains going forward.
Pollinator-Friendly and Other Environmentally Friendly Plant Practices Are on the Rise
Consumers are increasingly aware of the effects that humans have had on the environment and are now seeking to improve it with their gardens. These efforts include:
using plants that attract pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, to help fight against their eradication
planting more native plants that can help with water conservation
using organic gardening practices and products to limit their potential deleterious effect on other living things
This Freedonia industry study analyzes the $10.7 billion US live goods market. It presents historical demand data (2008, 2013 and 2018) and forecasts for 2023 by product (bedding/garden plants, indoor/patio plants, trees & shrubs, other live goods), region (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West), and end user (consumer/DIY and professional). Additionally, the study presents and discusses major factors affecting demand; growth opportunities; consumer survey data and trends; and retail sales, channels, and marketing strategies. The study also analyzes leading growers in the market.