The essential feel good factor

Brands and retailers naturally keep a close eye on the aspirations of the French people. And consumers’ attitudes to the garden are continuing to evolve…

Improving our living environment, reconnecting with nature, making life easier... In recent years, the garden has re-emerged as a key concern for the French. They spend more and more time there. And, of course, they cultivate it. Over 50% of households buy outdoor plants every year. They simply live there. And to do so, they need to furnish and decorate it. Garden professionals, particularly those working in the new Home & Leisure area of the JdC Garden Trends exhibition, are fully conversant with consumer expectations. But many of them are also keen to prepare for the future. “I think we need to make a special effort with the younger generation," says Carole FISCHEL GUIZARD, autoproducer range manager, Purchasing Centre at Teract. “On the one hand, they are our customers of tomorrow, and on the other, studies show that they are very pessimistic. They're worried about the future of the planet. Brands have already done a lot in this area, but perhaps we're not communicating it in the right way.” For the time being, seven out of ten French people, be they men or women, urban or rural dwelling, enjoy tending a garden. The pleasure of doing things by yourself is a new "feel good" dimension. And, since the lockdown, there is also the pleasure of passing it down from one generation to the next. A bit like cooking. Finally, the garden is once again becoming a place for socialising and sharing, as shown by the popularity of shared gardens.
Houseplant mania

Having fallen out of fashion in the 1990s, houseplants are making a strong comeback. While yucca and ficus remain the great classics, 25-40 year-olds are turning to other species such as caladiums, calatheas and alocasias, all highly Instagrammable plants, which lend an urban jungle feel to flats. Another notable change is in sales channels. The younger generation tend to shop on Internet, which already accounts for 9% of purchases. They have also taken a liking to pop-up garden centres, a trend that shows absolutely no signs of abating for the time being. Plants have truly become a part of the daily lives of young French people.

By David Fouillé