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GWA predicts garden spending will drop


May 27, 2011
By Garden Writers Association

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GWA predicts garden spending will drop
The Garden Writers Association in the U.S. has released the findings of its Spring Gardening Trends Research Report. The group predicts that planned consumer garden spending will drop in 2011 but garden centres are expected to stay head-to-head with mass merchants.

May 27, 2011 – As a sign of the economic times, planned consumer garden spending is
expected to drop from an average $615/household in 2009 to a projected
$469 for 2011. At the same time, competition between independent garden
centers and mass merchants is expected to remain evenly split for early
spring plant purchases. When the Garden Writers Association Foundation
(GWAF) started tracking the early spring gardening preferences of
consumers in 2005, only 40% of the respondents planned to buy most of
their spring plants at garden centers compared to 51% who favored mass
merchants.

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The GWAF’s 2011 Early Spring Gardening Trends Research Report
conducted in April found that garden centers maintain a slight edge
over mass merchants (46% to 44%) for consumer preference in purchasing
most of their spring plants in spite of a more than 23% decline in
planned garden spending overall.

“Best Quality” remains the primary criteria for many
households (51%) choosing where they will shop for plants. “Best Price”
was reported by only 27% of consumers as the most important criteria for
where they will purchase their spring plants.

The 2011 Early Spring Gardening Trends Research Report
is the first of four national consumer attitude surveys on gardening to
be conducted this year by the GWAF. The data was collected between
April 3-6 by Technometrica Market Intelligence, the leading polling
organization rated most accurate in the past two U.S. national
elections. Other information from the survey includes:

  • Nearly one-half (47%) of all respondents plan to
    garden in their backyard, while more than one-quarter (29%) plan to
    garden in their front yard.
  • One-half (50%) of respondents who have a garden expect
    to use garden centers, nurseries, or classes for their spring garden
    planning, while 52% plan to gain knowledge from their neighbors.
  • More than one-third plan to use books and magazines (34%) for their spring garden planning.
  • Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents who have a garden plan to grow their own vegetables this year.
  • More than four-fifths (82%) are motivated to grow
    their own vegetables because it will yield vegetables with better
    quality, taste, and nutrition.
  • More than two-fifths (46%) say that growing their own vegetables will be cheaper than buying from a store.
  • The majority of respondents (46%) who are planning to
    grow vegetables say that their vegetable garden is a small plot (10 feet
    by 10 feet or less).

The 2011 Early Spring Gardening Trends Research Report
covers consumer expectations and attitudes for activities and purchases
planned for March through May. The survey statistically represents the
attitudes of over 100 million households with an accuracy of 95% (+/-
4.2% percentage points).


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