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Premier Tech Leverages Synergies in Canadian Garden Care and Home Insecticide Markets

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By: Damian Shore

Canada is an affluent, ageing market where most own their own houses and consumer interest in both gardening and environmental awareness are on the rise. Wilson WeedOut Preventer and C-I-L Golfgreen 1Step, two new products from leading domestic player Premier Tech, attempt to both play to these trends and exploit the company’s brand equity in a closely related market, home insecticides.

Premier Tech presence in Garden Care and Home Insecticides (% value, 2012)

Premier Tech presence in Garden Care and Home Insecticides

Source: Euromonitor International

Canadian market more resilient than that of its southern neighbor

According to Euromonitor’s interim data, Quebec-based Premier Tech’s share of the US$912 million Canadian Garden Care market stood at 22% in 2012, with brands such as Schultz and C-I-L commanding more than 5% of the sales each. In Home Insecticides (under the C-I-L and Wilson brands), the company is strong in the spray/aerosol segment. The Canadian growing media market saw sales fall sharply during 2009 but recover strongly thereafter.

New product launches hit multiple sweet spots

Wilson WeedOut Preventer and C-I-L Golfgreen 1Step will both be launched during spring 2013. WeedOut is a corn-gluten-based spray for weed removal that contains no cosmetic pesticides. By marketing WeedOut under the Wilson brand (which is much more established in insecticides), Premier Tech is tapping into a strong reservoir of brand equity, as well as the increasingly green inclinations of many Canadian consumers. 1Step is an all-in-one lawn-care product that includes seed, peat and fertilizer. With its emphasis on convenience and ease-of-use, it is targeting both new gardeners and retirees.

An ageing, and greening, population

With an ageing population (the median age rose from 39.2 years in 2007 to 40.9 years during 2012), Canada has a growing number of retirees, and gardening serves as both a hobby and a form of exercise for many of them. Moreover, the country’s long, harsh winters mean that many Canadians take particular care to ensure that their gardens are able to grow quickly and robustly over the short Canadian growing season. The fact that the past winter has been an unusually mild one in Canada may provide an early boost to sales of both these products. Canadian consumers are also becoming increasingly interested in environmental sustainability across a host of markets.

Meanwhile, Canada is very much a nation of homeowners (over 70% of households lived in owner-occupied housing during 2011), with over two-thirds of them (around 69%) living in houses, rather than apartments. All of these factors point towards steady long-term growth in sales of growing media in Canada. According to the 2011 Garden Centres Canada Survey, which was conducted by the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association during early 2012, just over two-thirds (67.2%) of the country’s garden centres saw their customer count increase during that year.

These factors are encouraging for the prospects of both WeedOut and 1Step. However, Premier Tech is very much in the shadow of market leader Scotts Co. LLC, which accounted for almost half (47%) of value sales in the Canadian Garden Care market in 201 and whose marketing muscle Premier Tech cannot hope to match.

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