Weather and economy challenge lawn & garden equipment marketers

Just in time for summer, Packaged Facts provides industry-leading market research on home-related consumer goods products in the report Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition.

July 1 - Americans love to care for their lawns and gardens.  But the economy and weather haven’t been very cooperative for marketers.  Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition details how L&G equipment sales peaked at the height of the housing boom in 2005, and have been declining and trying to recover since.   The mature market is highly dependent on the economy, housing, household formation, weather, and seasonality.  Continued economic challenges have made market recovery uneven and weather has also created fluctuations in sales year-to-year.  The market stabilized somewhat between 2010 and 2014 with sales declining by a CAGR of 0.2%. This is an improvement over 2008 to 2012, when sales declined by a CAGR of more than 1%. 

Packaged Facts estimates total retail sales of the L&G equipment market, consisting of outdoor power equipment (OPE), tools and implements (T/I), and watering/spraying equipment (W/S), at $10.2 billion in 2014.  Overall growth has been driven by segments of OPE, which accounted for 68% or $7 billion of total sales.    Riding/tractor lawn mowers and zero-turn models in particular have become increasingly popular with consumers.  So have electric products, particularly lithium ion battery-powered models that have been expanding from hand-held tools like trimmers and leaf blowers to bigger machines such as lawn mowers and snow throwers.  The battery-powered segment is expected to continue growing as battery technology is improving rapidly to deliver power and performance equal to gas-powered products.  Lawn and Garden Equipment in the U.S. 11th Edition discusses why some consumers love these products and the new technologies and marketers that are challenging leading players in this arena.  

Hispanic influence growing in the dairy and dairy alternative beverages market

This blog is based on the Packaged Facts reports Dairy and Dairy Alternative Beverage Trends in the U.S., 3rd Edition and Hispanic Food Shoppers in the U.S. Purchase your copies for more insights.

June 23 - Over the last couple of years the big story in the dairy milk vs. plant milk competition is the extraordinary growth of almond milk. Dollar, volume, and unit sales of almond milk have all increased at double-digit rates the expense of dairy milk as well as by taking sales away from soy milk, which no so long ago was the leading plant-based alternative to dairy milk. And looking a short way down the road it is possible that almond milk, for all of its remarkable success, may find itself soon overtaken by cashew milk which is getting the same kind of “tastes great and good for you” promotion that almond milk received.

But take a look just a bit further down the road and the bigger story may well be the influence of Hispanic culture on the combined dairy and plant-based milk markets. Hispanic culture, that is the cultures of Mexico, South America and Central America and the Caribbean have already had a tremendous impact on mainstream culture (which probably needs redefining as “mainstream” continues to lose meaning as various ethnic and health streams appear to be the ones with rising tides). As Packaged Facts has previously noted, “Tortillas and taco kits outsell hamburgers and hot dog buns. Salsa boasts almost twice the dollar sales of ketchup.”

More specifically, spending by Hispanic consumers for food at grocery and other food stores grew more than 80% over the 2004-2013 period to $67 billion, more than twice the growth rate registered by consumers on average. Packaged Facts expects that expenditures by Hispanic food shoppers will reach $86 billion in 2018. This represents 2013-2018 cumulative growth of 28.2% and a compound annual growth rate of 5.1%.

 

NY Yankee Teixeira goes gluten- and dairy-free, reclaims place among baseball’s elite. Coincidence?

June 19 — This past February, New York Yankee Mark Teixeira announced intentions to hit 30 home runs and collect 100 RBIs during the then-upcoming Major League Baseball season. Prior to 2012, these numbers would have been lofty yet attainable goals for a superstar of Teixeira’s stature. But in recent years the two time all-star first baseman appeared snakebitten having missed extensive time due to injuries that tarnished his reputation as one of baseball’s most feared sluggers.

Fast forward four months since his bold declaration, and Teixeira has proven himself to be a pinstriped prophet on pace to obliterate the goals he set with more than half the MLB season left to play. Based on interviews with various major sports media outlets, the secret to Teixeira’s bounce back season may well lie not only in his renewed weightlifting program, but also in significant changes to his diet. Namely, his decision to adopt a gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free lifestyle. The combination of weightlifting and his new “free from” diet have put Teixeira in what many have said is the best shape of his career. He’s packed on more than ten pounds of muscle while shedding body fat.

As great as the results have been for Teixeira, he isn’t the only one discovering the benefits of embracing “free from” foods and beverages. Many other celebrities—including Zooey Deschanel, Drew Brees, Jennifer Lawrence, and perhaps most famously Gwyneth Paltrow, among others—along with non-celebrity consumers are often voluntarily cutting out specific ingredients for the sake of their health. This includes eliminating not only gluten, dairy, and sugar, but also fat, GMOs, sodium, and food processing additives, according to Packaged Facts reports Food Formulation Trends: Ingredients Consumers Avoid and Gluten-Free Foods in the U.S., 5th Edition.

“Food avoidance has become a way of life for tens of millions of American consumers of all ages. For consumers with allergies and intolerances, avoiding certain food and ingredients is a matter of life and death. But for other consumers avoiding various foods is a matter of choice based on a desire to lose weight or to have an overall healthier life. Hence for the latter group, it’s not about dealing with specific allergies but rather a matter of optimizing health and also about seeking to create a quality of life based on eliminating negatives,” says David Sprinkle, research director, Packaged Facts.

National Coffee Association and Packaged Facts unite for June 23 webinar

June 18 – Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle will present a webinar entitled “The Shifting Landscape for Office Coffee Service” in conjunction with the National Coffee Association (NCA) on June 23, 2015 from 1:00-2:00 pm EST.

The webinar, which draws on Packaged Facts' report Office Coffee Service in the U.S.: Market Trends and Opportunities (March 2015), lays out the opportunities, challenges and trends shaping the office coffee service market.

To register for the webinar or for more information please visit: http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageID=1074

To purchase a copy of Office Coffee Service in the U.S.: Market Trends and Opportunities please visit: http://www.packagedfacts.com/Office-Coffee-Service-8791546/

More than 7 million households in Canada own pets

June 16 - In the just-released Canadian Pet Market Outlook, 2nd Edition (May 2015), Packaged Facts reports that 7.3 million Canadian households have pets.  Featuring dozens of expert insights into the Canadian pet market, including recommendations regarding the future of the industry, drivers, sales figures, and more, the report is a must own addition to any research library.

Purchase a copy before October 1 and receive a 5% discount using promo code PFCPMO2015.

“Clean label” movement picks up steam

June 12 - “Clean label” has become a hot topic in the food and beverage industry as consumers begin to look more closely at what goes into their food and beverages, finds research published in Nutritional Labeling and Clean Labels in the U.S.: Future of Food Retailing.  Many consumers are now using the “kitchen test”—“can the ingredients on the label be found in my own kitchen?”—as their rule of thumb to determine whether or not to buy a product. They are scrutinizing ingredients decks on packages for a short list of ingredients with names they can recognize, and avoiding those with unpronounceable, chemical-sounding names. Consumer preference for clean labels and concerns about food additives are pressing issues for the processed food industry, because they are deeply rooted in long-term trends including consumers’ focus on the connection between diet and health combined with their skepticism of health claims on foods.

As the Federal government debates changes to the Nutrition Facts panels and ingredients labels on packaged foods and beverages, some of the biggest marketers, retailers, and foodservice providers are ahead of the pack when it comes to labeling trends. These companies are acting proactively as they feel the winds of change—whether from potential government legislation, nutritional recommendations, or consumer demands—by reformulating and repositioning mainstream products and lines with simpler ingredients and cleaner labels.

Pet companies hop on yogurt bandwagon

May 15 - Playing into the ongoing pet humanization trend, pet product manufacturers have jumped onto the yogurt bandwagon, including the product in everything from treats and rawhide chews to shampoos and conditioners, according to Packaged Facts reports U.S. Pet Market Outlook, 2015-2016 and The Yogurt Market and Yogurt Innovation, 2nd Edition.

Vetscience LLC, makers of Fruitables natural dog treats, has developed the Fruitables Greek yogurt crunchers line, currently available in three Greek yogurt flavors (coconut, vanilla, and strawberry) with pumpkin granola or oatmeal crunch.

Similarly, Redbarn Pet Products offers Greek yogurt filled dog bones, described on the company’s website as follows:  “Redbarn Greek Yogurt Filled Dog Bones combine white, cut femur bones with a wholesome, Greek yogurt filling. The resulting treat couples the teeth cleaning advantages of the hard bone with the delicious taste of the stuffing.”

Green household cleaning products seek mainstream acceptance

April 27 - Sales of green household cleaning products in the U.S grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% from 2007 and 2010.  They declined at a CAGR of 2% from 2010 to 2014. What happened?

Green Household Cleaning and Laundry Products in the U.S., 3rd Edition details how growth of the market for green household cleaners and laundry products was driven higher through 2010 by the entry of major mainstream mass marketers with green brands such as Clorox Green Works and a host of others.  They were backed by heavy marketing support and initially achieved high levels of sales, their new products purchased by many consumers who typically don’t regularly buy green products.   Established green marketers such as Seventh Generation, Method and others responded to the competition and drove the market higher with new products, increased support, and expansion of distribution into more mass retail outlets.  

As the recession hit and the economy lagged, the overall market began to slow down and then decline.  Most consumers purchased less frequently and purchased products less expensive than the typically higher-priced green versions.   Sales of mass market brands, with the exception of Purex Natural Elements, began a rapid decline that continued through 2014.    Traditional green brands such as Seventh Generation performed well over the last five years as their hard-core green consumer bases have remained loyal.  However gains by traditional green brands haven’t been able to offset the declines by mass marketers, thus the year over year market sales declines between 2010 and 2014.  

New directions for key areas of the U.S. functional food & beverage market

April 17 - What do the latest trends in functional foods and beverages targeting weight management and satiety, sports nutrition and energy have in common?  All three are benefitting from a shift to products made with more natural and whole food ingredients that are non-GMO and contain no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.  Protein is particularly important to all three, with meat playing a more important role than in the past in delivering this nutritional benefit.  According to the Packaged Facts report, Functional Foods & Beverages: Key Trends by Product Categories and Benefits, all three are also undergoing major shifts in the marketplace that reflect cultural and lifestyle changes including heartier breakfasts and more, healthier snacking.

Consumers have lost interest in dieting to lose weight and in 2015 they prefer healthy eating.  This has marketers of traditional weight loss brands (think Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers and Special K) figuring out how best to address this new, broader base of wellness consumers while not alienating existing, loyal customers.   

Wither thou holistic vets?

April 9 - Holistic veterinarians are a key resource for pet supplements, according to Packaged Facts in the report Pet Supplements in the U.S., 5th Edition. Not only do holistic vets believe proper nutrition is the best preventative medicine for pets, but they will be much more passionate about recommending supplements to pet owners as a first line of defense for the pet’s health. Given this potential for pet supplement marketers, a very important question becomes, just where do holistic vets practice?

Based on the directory of holistic veterinarians supplied by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA), by far the most popular state is California, with 93 registered holistic veterinarians. In fact, the West Coast in general is a popular region, with Washington and Oregon also having over 25 holistic vets. Beyond the West Coast, veterinarians are much more spread out, with concentrations in Texas, Florida, New York, and Illinois.

However, looking at holistic vets per capita for each state paints a very different picture. 

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