Consumer behaviour

Towards an overhaul of the seasonality model in the garden
The JdC Garden Trends are a unique opportunity to take the strain on the market, to write tomorrow and to formalize the new coming strategies, on a neutral ground with clear visibility. To help you see more clearly and further ahead, find the deciphering of the market by our partner, the trend consultancy CHLOROSPHERE
Today, let's take stock of consumer perception of seasonal changes in the garden, a key issue for our markets.

Climate change: an opportunity for the garden?

While it is true that summers will be increasingly dry, with a marked water deficit and a slowdown in river flow for at least the next 30 years according to the most realistic projections, global warming, which accelerates the water cycle and increases the phenomena of extreme rainfall that rapidly converges towards the oceans without recharging the water tables, will profoundly modify gardeners' reflexes. 

If an average consumer loses between 5 and 15% of his plantations during the summer, due to drought, he will be reluctant to renew his plantations. This phenomenon has already been observed and benefits, in particular, perennials, evergreen trees and shrubs, grasses and succulents.

However, we consider that since 1950, on average over one year in France, we have :
  • lost 60 cm of snow in winter and over a shorter period
  • gained 22 warm days
  • lost 17 days of frost
  • gained 1.7°C
Sources: meteofrance data & IPCC2022

The result is simply + 39 days more for the garden! That's almost one and a half months of garden season gained! Admittedly, in some regions, the temperature is such that it is not pleasant to stay outside in the heat, but overall in metropolitan France, it is one month more to enjoy your garden.
In view of this, it is to be expected that "drought resistant" or "water self-sufficient" gardens as well as "freshness point" gardens will become increasingly popular. This is also the theme of the scenography of the entrance to the JdC Garden Trends 2023! For this edition, CHLOROSPHERE, some exhibitors and the coaches of the Silence ça pousse brand, are proposing an application of what a climate-resilient garden should be for the coming seasons... a vast subject that has only just begun!

How to address consumers?

Faced with these upheavals, the rhythms of garden consumption are slightly modified, and we can thus note 3 distinct seasons:

A temperate season from March to May, when consumers are eager to be outside, when the fine weather is pleasant, neither too hot nor too humid. And when the desire to garden is at its peak. During this period, he will plant, prepare and define his garden for the year. It is therefore important to offer them choice, diversity and alternatives. He wants his garden to have a maximum of consumption in April, so this is the time to offer quantity.

Then comes a warm, dry season when action gives way to contemplation: you enjoy your garden. This is the season of "outdoor living" where we find all the accessories for the garden: barbecue, furniture, decoration, solar, swimming pool, etc. At this stage, it is no longer a question of convincing people of the possible improvements, as they will not be undertaking any work. On the other hand, this is the time to build loyalty through advice, complementary offers, product marketing and strong brand universes.

Finally, comes an unpleasant outdoor season, rather cold and wet from November to February. At this stage of the year, the atmosphere is rather cocooning indoors, but the consumer does not forget about his garden. This is the period when they make plans and decisions. This is why this is the best time for landscape designers to prospect for their N+1 projects. During this period, the client must be inspired! Through images, projections, and ideas for implementation. Give them the desire to do something for their exterior next year.

In summary, if the sales curve has remained mostly stable for years in the garden, with a peak in April and a rebound around October, the consumer's attention is divided throughout the year: in search of inspiration in the "low season", then he or she stumbles at the beginning of the year with the arrival of the good weather and launches himself or herself earlier and earlier into gardening, to finally calm down and enjoy the day in the garden from May onwards.

Let's not forget that from a global gardening point of view, all distribution channels taken together, 46% of customers are new households (under 45 years old) with purchasing power and a desire for a garden, and 73% of them have a garden! Preferring to look for information on social networks, they live at the moment and will be receptive to this new division of the commercial year into three phases around the garden.

It will therefore be interesting to observe how suppliers' and retailers' offers evolve in the face of these new practices, induced among other things by climate change, to adapt to new rhythms.

- March 2023