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This study examines the US residential market for power lawn and garden equipment. Excluded from the scope of this report is machinery used in commercial and agricultural applications. The residential market comprises equipment sales to homeowners and other individuals for private use (i.e., not for commercial purposes). Residential landscaping that is paid for by building owners or occupants and carried out by professionals is considered commercial.
Historical data for 2009, 2014, and 2019 and forecasts for 2024 and 2029 for demand are provided in current dollar terms (which are not adjusted for inflation).
- lawn mowers (e.g., riding, walk behind)
- trimmers and edgers
- garden tractors and rotary tillers
- snow blowers (e.g., single-stage, multi-stage)
- blowers, vacuums, and sweepers
- other equipment and parts and attachments (e.g., hedge trimmers, pole saws, multi-tools, utility tractors
Excluded are push reel mowers and any other non-powered equipment.
Since the vast majority of engines for power lawn and garden equipment are used in OEM capacities, engines are excluded from the scope of this study, except insofar as they contribute to the value of the equipment that they power.
Factors driving growth going forward include:
- a return to economic growth following the pandemic
- an increase in the housing stock, including single-family homes, a large source of demand
- growing existing home sales, which support purchases of power lawn and garden equipment, particularly among first-time homeowners
- increasing interest in high-value (even commercial-grade) equipment among lawn and garden enthusiasts
- continued improvement of smart and connected technology, robotics, engine-related technologies, electric power sources, and ergonomic designs, increasing pricing and supporting greater value gains
The aging population will have a countervailing effect on residential demand. Sales of high-value, easy-to-use equipment are expected to increase. However, those gains will be offset by the increasing popularity of DIFM landscaping, which boosts demand in the commercial market.
In 2020, low interest rates have helped maintain a strong housing market despite the COVID-19 pandemic. While the millennial generation is less likely than previous generations to own homes, that is changing as the demographic ages. This cohort represents a prime opportunity for suppliers of power lawn and garden equipment as they are purchasing their first homes and need tools to maintain yard spaces.
There has also been an increase in DIY projects in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many consumers are staying at home for longer periods, which promotes an increase in time to do home maintenance and upgrades. Additionally, less money spent on travel and entertainment frees up funds for investment in landscaping materials and equipment.
Power Sources: Demand Trends & Consumer Insights
Lawn and garden equipment can be powered either by an internal combustion engine (ICE) or by electricity using either a power cord or a battery:
- Power lawn and garden equipment powered by internal combustion engines accounts for the majority of demand.
- Electric products have increased their market share, continuing to grow year over year.
- Sales of electric products have grown faster in recent years, spurred by technological advances that have made these products more competitive with traditional engine-driven equipment performance.
The distribution of electric equipment among the various types of power lawn and garden equipment is not uniform, which is often reflective of the size and power requirements of these products. For example, while walk behind mowers have seen strong gains in the share of products powered by electricity, riding lawn mowers or turf and grounds mowers have seen slower progress. The performance needed to serve some products and applications is still outside the ability of battery power.
Through 2024, battery-powered lawn and garden equipment is expected to continue to outpace the overall market and increase its share of sales. As product development continues, more consumers will continue to adopt more electrically powered products.
Electric lawn and garden equipment has primarily penetrated the residential market, while commercial users still heavily favor engine-driven products. Electric equipment fares better in residential applications since DIY landscaping is less likely than professional-type projects to require high levels of power and long run times. In the August 2020 edition of The Freedonia Group National Online Consumer Survey, 47% of total respondents and 76% of those who own any type of power lawn and garden equipment reported that they owned at least one type of electric power lawn and garden equipment.
Nevertheless, residential users expect their equipment to perform well – 71% of consumers that own power lawn and garden equipment feel that power and run time are the most important features of their power lawn and garden equipment. It is therefore critical that electric equipment can offer a certain level of performance in order to compete with engine-driven models. To this end, producers of electric equipment focus on ensuring that their products can handle intensive household tasks and that the batteries for their cordless equipment can hold a strong charge.
Among consumers who own electric equipment, the main reasons for preferring electric over engine-driven equipment include its:
- light weight
- low maintenance requirements
- lower noise level