2021-07-13

Consumers between 18 and 30 – the active target group

Consumers between 18 and 30 – the active target group
 
Author:
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG

The ageing of customer groups was a frequent topic within the "green industry" in the pre-pandemic period. On the one hand, garden centre operators found it comforting that the baby boomer generation would soon have even more time for gardening, but on the other hand, the long-term outlook was not as positive. Apart from a few "urban gardening nerds", there was not much to be gained. Has the pandemic caused the younger generation to set off in the direction of gardening? Some thoughts and information in our blog post.

So far, there are hardly any statistical studies in Europe that depict the consumer behaviour of the target group between 18 and 30 years of age. In the USA, a representative survey was conducted in October 2020, which showed that approx. 15 % of the inhabitants of the USA, which corresponds to approx. 15 million households, have bought plants for the first time.

The baby boomer generation was the hope of the industry for a long time – this is changing 
The baby boomer generation was the hope of the industry for a long time – this is changing

Within this group, 14 % were between 18 and 30 years and 30 % between 31 - 40 years. In these two age groups, 28 % of the respondents said they would continue with the recreational activity of "planting" even after the pandemic.

Although there are no statistical surveys on this subject in Europe, in many places one hears of more "young customers". The enormous growth in online plant sales is also due to this target group. As much as our industry is currently celebrating and "moving" from one sales record to the next, the statements vary greatly on how the young target group can be retained.

14% of 18- to 30-year-olds bought plants for the first time in their lives in 2020 
14% of 18- to 30-year-olds bought plants for the first time in their lives in 2020

It is probably not far from the truth to say that the horticultural retail industry has not yet fully integrated the expectations of the 18- to 30-year-old customers and that there is room for improvement. In many stores, the presentation of goods at the point-of-sale still follows the philosophy of the classical presentation of assortments instead of creating living worlds.

Communication with customers via SOCIAL-Media often functions only fragmentarily. Some Instagram examples show clearly that the young generation is interested in "plant themes":

  • Adriansstory (indoor plants-v.a. Germany) 11.500 subscribers
  • Mr_plantgeek (all about greenery-v.a. England) 34.800 subscribers
  • Have02 (all about greenery - mainly Scandinavia) 33.000 subscribers
  • Houseplantclub (houseplants-worldwide) 1 mio subscribers
  • Mamabotanica.amsterdam (houseplants-v.a. Netherlands) 86.000 subscribers)

Creative influencers inspire the garden market 
Creative influencers inspire the garden market
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It is interesting to compare how many subscribers the best garden centres in Germany have, for example (according to the survey by ServiceValue - published in TASPO):

  • Pflanzen Mauk - 1.927 subscribers
  • Pflanzen Kölle - 18.400 subscribers
  • Brockmeyer garden centre - 5.509 subscribers
  • Garden centre Meckelburg - 1.077 subscribers 
The young generation has moved towards plants in the pandemic. It offers our industry a great opportunity and we should retain this "Generation Green Future" in the long term and turn them not only into buying customers, but into "enthusiastic garden fans".

We would be happy to discuss practical approaches with you on how to succeed in binding this young target group to your company. The teams from Media Concept Switzerland and Gregg Marketing are looking forward to talking to you.

 

Author:
Robert Wacker
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG
Robert Wacker has been working in the green industry since 1980. For 20 years, he has been developing marketing and sales concepts for breeders, producers and retailers. As Managing Director of Media Concept Schweiz AG, he regularly writes articles for this blog.