Al Fresco Fortnight—what makes you go al fresco?

Al Fresco Fortnight—what makes you go al fresco?
With a heatwave sweeping the nation last week, Love the Plot You’ve Got kicked off Al Fresco Fortnight, their annual campaign to get as many people as possible out into their gardens.

Since starting on 18th June, consumers have been encouraged to take to their gardens and enjoy an al fresco meal while enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors.

As consumer research giant Mintel recently reported that 87% of consumers have a garden or outdoor space (Garden Product Retailing – UK. Mintel, May 2017), we look at what might encourage consumers to go al fresco this summer.

Know your consumer

Although recent times have seen an increase in economic uncertainty, Mintel forecasts growth of 22% during 2016 to 2021 for the home and garden industry. These pressures have been connected to people spending more leisure time at home and in their gardens. Mintel found that 36% of adults agreed that gardening is one of their favourite products, and 67% had bought gardening goods in the last year. So the industry is still going strong!

Make room outdoors

Recently, more people are venturing into the great outdoors and have been using their gardens as an extension of their home. So it comes as no surprise that retailers are keen to embrace the outdoor living trend. We are seeing more garden centres stocking stylish garden buildings and furniture and can expect this to continue for the next year.

With the trend for outdoor living comes a desire for a low maintenance garden: a place for entertaining and relaxation, without the need for continuous upkeep. More garden centres are allocating their outdoor spaces to low maintenance garden ideas and easy garden transformations, as seen in B&Q’s 2017 TV ad campaign.

Don’t forget about the young folks

Mintel identified that, while the older generations enjoy gardening as a pastime, younger people use their outdoor spaces for eating and entertaining. In fact, the 25-34 age group are the most likely to spend money on home and garden products as they settle into their first proper home. With young people jumping on the outdoor living trend, and being willing to spend their money on it, Mintel predicts that there will be a broader range of competitors for garden leisure goods.

However, with a shift towards renting and more young people living in smaller properties, fewer younger consumers actually have a garden. To tackle this, smart retailers should look at how to frame any outdoor space, such as a balcony, as an extension of the home. We suggest taking a leaf out of garden expert Grange’s book and consider how your products could be used in any outdoor space, no matter the size.

However you decide to embrace the al fresco lifestyle, it’s certainly getting us all in the mood for some sunshine! For more information about Alfresco Fortnight and to see what consumers are doing to make the most of the campaign, head to www.loveyourplot.com.