Lawn And Garden Consumable Sales To Reach $7.5 Billion In 2008

U.S. demand for packaged lawn and garden consumables, which include fertilizers, pesticides, growing media, seeds, mulch, and other related products, is expected to grow 4.5 percent per year to $7.5 billion in 2008. Growth will be led by fertilizers, mulch and growing media, all of which will continue to post healthy annual gains of around six percent. These three segments are benefiting from the growing consumer trend favoring value added products such as rubber mulch, colored mulch and premium soils. These and other trends are presented in Lawn & Garden Consumables, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm.

Consumables growth will be restrained by sluggish pesticide sales, which not only make up more than 30 percent of the market, but are also the most expensive segment on a dollar per pound basis. Increasing concern over the environmental and health effects of agrochemicals will dampen pesticides’ prospects.

The residential market will account for more than three-quarters of total demand in 2008. Home gardening activity, including lawn care, has been steadily increasing over the past decade as the baby boom generation has entered the 55-64 year-old age segment. The residential market will post the fastest growth, helped by the homebuilding boom of the late-1990s, as well as strong marketing campaigns, the increased availability of products at home centers and mass retailers, and improved products.

Demand from golf courses, the second largest market, will grow more slowly than that of the residential market. Courses have been reducing chemical use to limit potentially harmful effects and to help offset decreased revenues during the 2001-2002 economic slowdown. On the positive side, the aging of the baby boom generation, as well as an increase in golf participation among young people, will feed golf course construction and aid consumables growth.

Organic consumables demand will grow nearly twice as fast as conventional product sales, but organics will remain a small percentage of the entire market. While growth in biopesticides will decelerate, demand for organic fertilizers, which comprised 20 percent of the organic market in 2003, will grow nearly 15 percent per year. Sales will be spurred by substantial product improvements, an increasing number of products, lower prices, and more effective marketing.

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