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    The New Green Thumbs? A Look at Millennials’ Lawn, Garden Activity

    The lawn and garden season is just about to bloom. So, naturally, retailers far and wide are beginning to ramp up the fight for the greenbacks of Green Thumbs.

    Only, according to new research by Field Agent, these green thumbs may not always belong to the most obvious consumers.

    When you think of gardeners and lawn care enthusiasts, do Millennials readily come to mind?

    If you’re like me, probably not. But, could we be mistaken?


    Getting to the Root of Things

    This past weekend Field Agent surveyed 300 18-35-year-olds about their “green” activities, attitudes, and purchases, encompassing lawn care, outdoor garden, indoor garden, and potted plants/flowers. We had the results within a few hours…and, well, some of the numbers surprised us.

    As the exhibits below suggest, we also dispatched several Millennials (all homeowners who work in their own gardens) to home improvement centers to take pictures of what they consider appealing gardening products, values, and displays.

    Based on the survey, here’s a Q&A conversation about Millennials and their potential as a new generation of Green Thumbs:


    What green activities do Millennials engage in?

    Consider the following findings:

    • In all, 63% of Millennials surveyed said they participate in lawn care, including 84% of homeowners and 65% of house renters
    • Additionally, more than half (58%) engage in outdoor gardening: 72% of homeowners and 65% of house renters
    • Another 47% reported caring for indoor plants/flowers purchased from a store, which was most common among apartment renters (51%)

    It's noteworthy that even Millennial apartment renters are not a lost cause for lawn and garden brands, retailers. Not only do more than half care for store-bought plants/flowers, but fully 37% said they engage in indoor gardening and/or potting plants.

    Utimately, a convincing 85% of Millennials in our study said they engage in some form of green activity, whether lawn care, gardening, potting, or simply maintaining indoor plants/flowers.

    What lawn/garden/plant/flower activities do you engage in? [CHART]

    “Yeah, but, Millennial is a broad category encompassing older teens, 20-somethings, and 30-somethings,” you say?

    Then consider that even among Millennials 18-28 (n = 119), wholly 83% said they engage in one or more green activities, as follows: 61% in lawn care, 55% in outdoor gardening, and 48% caring for indoor plants.


    Yes, yes. That’s nice. But do these Millennials actually make lawn, garden, and other green purchases?

     Of the 254 Millennials in our survey who participate in some form of green activity, 86% said they make at least occasional purchases of lawn, garden, etc. products. In fact, 29% make such purchases “fairly” often and 6% “very” often.

    Take a picture of an in-store display featuring a gardening product you're interested in purchasing, and tell us why the display appeals to you. [AGENT PHOTOS]


    Then where do Millennials make these purchases?

    Mainly home improvement centers (82%) and mass merchandisers (77%).

    After quite a drop off, 38% said they shop local nurseries and garden centers, and 31% use smaller, nationally branded hardware chains like Ace and True Value.

    Significantly, only 11% reported shopping online for lawn and garden products.

    Interested in Homeowners' Lawn & Garden Purchases, Preferences? Click here.

    Take a picture of a product that catches your attention and tell us why. [AGENT PHOTOS]

    What matters most to Millennials as they shop in stores for lawn, garden, and other green activities?

    We also asked Millennials to rank five shopping priorities by importance, or those things they look for when shopping for lawn and garden products in stores.

    81% assigned cost/value a #1 or #2 ranking, followed by quality, which 77% of respondents gave a #1 or #2.

    Here’s the full ranking, by share of #1 responses:

    1. Cost/value (50%)
    2. Quality (35%)
    3. Environmental protection/preservation (8%)
    4. In-store convenience (7%)
    5. Brand name (1%)

    51% assigned brand name a #5 rating, suggesting these green Millennials aren't necessarily brand loyal. They're up for grabs.

    Take a picture, with price tag showing, of a gardening product you consider a great value. Tell us why. [AGENT PHOTO]


    And how do these Millennials get their product information to guide such purchases?

    They go old school, and primarily seek the trusted advice of family and friends. Indeed, 73% surveyed said they look to close acquaintances for information to guide their purchase and use of lawn and garden products.

    Still, close to half (48%) reported using a smartphone/smart device app for such information, while 44% rely on the advice of store employees.

    Which information sources do you use to inform your purchase and/or use of gardening, potting, and/or lawn care supplies? [GRAPH]


    But what about those Millennials who do not currently engage in green activity? Any chance they will?

    Yes, actually. Of the 15% who said they do not participate in any lawn, garden, etc. activity (n = 46), 66% feel the idea of outdoor/indoor gardening—that is, as a future possibility—is at least “moderately” appealing, and 41% said the same about lawn care.  

    See also our regional survey of 500 Homeowners: Lawn & Garden Survey: Insight into 500 Homeowners’ Purchases and Preferences [FREE REPORT]


    Connect Where it Matters

    Need to see inside stores to connect with your products and point-of-purchase marketing? Look to Mobile Audits.

    Or maybe you want to connect with Millennials, Hispanics, Moms, or other specific consumer classes? Then Mobile Research is more up your alley. 

    Download one or both resources in our “How it Works” series to see how you can connect with distant business operations and customers. Anywhere. Anytime.

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    Mobile Research, Retail Audit


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