JdC Garden Trends, forever in motion

Writing the future today. Over the last 20 years, the JdC Garden Trends have presented all the innovations. And there will be just as many of them in the years ahead.

In the space of two decades, the garden world has changed a lot. Our green havens first became outdoor living rooms at the end of the Noughties. French consumers have used them for parties, while gardeners, conscious of environmental issues, have also employed them in the fight against global warming. These powerful trends have year after year been presented at the JdC Garden Trends. Fortunately, the sector’s professionals have not wasted any time in anticipating these changes: you can’t change a production line at the drop of a hat. The La Florentaise group, for example, reduced the proportion of peat in its bedding compost as early as 2005. And sales of mulch have literally taken off! Meanwhile, the share of recycled plastic used in the makeup of tools is continuing to rise, as brand managers explained last year at Parc Chanot. Manufacturers have also invested heavily in batteries, and this research has proved productive: lighter machines, of better quality with a longer operating cycle. In the plant protection department, the Labbé Act on 2014 banned the use of synthetic pesticides and insecticides in gardens: a monumental change.
The future of the garden world is already taking shape and it has a younger face, thanks to the Millennial generation (born between 1981 and 1999) which represents 30% of the French population. The oldest among them are reaching their forties. Their focus is on a natural garden, often with a Mediterranean inspiration. Fruit trees and vegetable patches are making a comeback. Three quarters of gardeners under 35 use their garden to help them eat better and contribute on their scale to protecting the planet. For them, global warming is already here. These consumers pay more attention to the origin of what they buy, its carbon footprint and its durability. This trend is set to take on more weight with the repairability obligation. And the change in consumption patterns is accompanied by more digitalisation: a groundswell which the JdC are acutely aware of and will continue to address, and which is set to be even more prevalent in the years ahead.
Duty to compost
On 1 January in France, it became compulsory to compost food waste. The Agec Act on anti-waste and the circular economy passed in February 2020 does not impose individual composting per se, but it requires households and professionals to sort their organic waste, in a move to reduce the weight of French dustbins. These contain an annual average per capita of 83 kg of food waste, in addition to grass cuttings and pruning waste. Brands have prepared for this. At the JdC, they are offering new models of composters for individuals and councils alike. “We have received quite a few orders from municipal councils, but also from collective housing buildings,” says Céline Seuzaeret, marketing director at Forest style, “and composting fits in well with the trend for natural gardens.” Another new development coming in the near future is that plastic plant pots under 45 cm in diameter must be able to be sorted into yellow bins and be recycled like any other form of waste.

Essentially digital
With online selling, ‘how-to’ tutorials and social media feeds, several retail chains have been quick to embrace connectivity. Today they are investing in the internet not only to promote their name or present their products, but also to remind gardeners of growing techniques. “I think that passing on knowledge is a fundamental part of gardening,” says Carole Fischel-Guizard, Self-Production – Purchasing Office Range Director at Teract. “Taking care of a garden is a technical affair. People need information and explanations. And to do that, we are strong believers in the internet.” This strategy harnesses the power of Google, on the condition that the content promoted is regularly refreshed and of high quality. The same applies to tutorials posted on YouTube. Social media is also essential, but brands are increasingly turning to influencers: a new solution that nonetheless requires particular expertise. As Carole Fischel-Guizard puts it: “With regard to the younger generations, if you’re not on their phone, you simply don’t exist!”

By David Fouillé