This is an excerpt taken from an article by Elizabeth Petersen on Millennials in the garden in the December issue of Digger Magazine. Katie enjoyed sharing trends and insights about Millennials with Elizabeth for this insightful piece.
As Baby Boomers have retired and downsized, their long-standing financial support of the nursery industry has fallen off.
But a new generation of gardeners called Millennials is poised to pick up where Boomers left off — grabbing their shovels, growing their own food, decorating their spaces with plants and re-invigorating the nursery industry.
Millennials in the Garden
The changing of generations bodes well for both retail and wholesale plant purveyors, because Millennials value plants for their positive impact on health and the environment, indoors and out.
Plus, Millennials are a larger generation than Baby Boomers. Currently they comprise about one-quarter of the U.S. population and already have a collective buying power of $200 billion annually, according to Katie Dubow of Garden Media Group. And the buying power of this younger generation will only increase as they age, buy houses, settle down and earn more money.
To meet the needs of Millennials, though, the industry needs to understand them: what they value, how they operate and the ways they communicate. By doing so, they can direct marketing and design retail shopping experiences more effectively.
Who are Millennials?
The term “Millennials” applies to the first generation to reach adulthood in the 21st century. Born after 1980 and as old as 36 now, Millennials are quickly becoming the dominant demographic group among American consumers and are reaching their prime earning — and spending — years. Last year, in fact, five million of the six million “new” gardeners were 18–34-year-olds.
The 2017 Garden Trends Report, published by Garden Media Group, offered these important insights that help explain what this generation wants from the green industry:
- Millennials appreciate outdoor, natural spaces and plants for their contributions to mental and physical health, since plants help provide fresh air, clean water and a connection with nature.
- Since they value clean, healthy and local sourcing, Millennials want organic/ green solutions to soil health and fertility. They seek ways to support ecosystems and save the world. Millennials appreciate a less-is-more aesthetic, so they want big impact in small spaces. Dwarf plants that produce crops of healthy, flavorful food (blueberries and herbs, for instance) allow Millennials to grow their own while also maintaining tidy spaces.
- New technology for indoor gardening appeals to Millennials, who want to grow indoors, under lights or in water year-round, 365 days a year.
- Millennials want to stand out from the crowd and express themselves in unique ways, so they value brands that allow them to personalize their spaces and gardens to match their individual quirks.
- As they build families, Millennials view gardening as a shared experience with their kids.
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