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Increased interest in health and wellness and environmentalism is helping to boost demand for gardening products, particularly among younger consumers. Consumers are increasingly interested in the provenance of the food they eat, a trend that has been reinforced by a number of widely publicised contamination scandals in Europe and China, fuelling a growing distrust of agribusiness. Others perceive it as a way of reducing their carbon footprint and shifting to a more sustainable lifestyle.
These trends are reflected by the increased popularity of GIY (“grow your own”) and urban gardening worldwide. Economic necessity is playing a role in this for some, particularly in markets such as Spain, where the global economic downturn has taken a particularly heavy toll.
Given the precariousness of the contemporary economic environment and the stress engendered by this, gardening is perceived as a cheap way of relaxing by a growing number of consumers. For many of its acolytes, GIY is a “movement” rather than a mere trend. In the US, for example, living “off the grid” or “escaping the rat race” is a major attraction. For young urbanites it is often about sustainability and engendering a sense of social connectivity. Such feelings are often linked to a growing sense of the fragility and vulnerability of society. This is reflected in a marked fascination with themes related to survivalism/societal collapse in popular culture (eg “The Hunger Games” and “The Walking Dead”) in recent years.
For foodies the world over, growing their own food and consuming it within hours of being picked is a source of both satisfaction and epicurean delight. In Russia, growing food in the garden of one’s dacha (summer house) is an enduring habit dating back to the Soviet era, when fresh food was scarce.
For more information, read our full global briefing “Gardening: Category Overview”