There’s a Storm Brewing By Tim Hodson

Are you ready for the storm that is brewing out there among consumers?

Over the past few years, there has been a lot of talk about how Baby Boomers, the core gardening customer of the past couple of decades, will not be buying as many plants as they have in the past and that Gen Y won't be buying any plants at all!

Well, that really doesn't appear to be the case. In fact, there are rumblings out there for a very sunny forecast when it comes to market demographics and plant buying.
At GPN's Big Grower Executive Summit that took place in February (see story on page 8), demographer Ken Gronbach told the growers in attendance that Gen Y consumers will be developing into the core demographic that growers need to be ready to serve. And there is no time like the present to prepare for the future.

Boomers are living longer than previous generations and they still want their plants. Yes, their gardening habits will change, but their desire for green goods lives on. But these generous Boomers also will be helping their Gen Y-ers enter the housing market for the first time. And with new houses, come plant purchases.

Generation Y is also the greenest generation — ever! They've grown up with "green." There are more women in this demographic group too and they will be more ethnically diverse than previous generations.

The purchasing and gardening habits of this emerging group will be different than those of their parents but all of these demographic "shifts" will creates new opportunities for growers to reach out to this generation of consumers.

Check out Gronbach's book, The Age Curve, to gain some really valuable insight into how you can capitalize on this changing and evolving demographic.

Do You Know an Industry Hero?

Do you know an individual who is truly making a lasting impression and a real difference in our industry? If you do, we want to hear about him or her because we are looking for nominations for our 2012 Hort Hero.

This is the third year GPN has recognized an individual for their contributions to the betterment of the horticulture industry. Our 2010 and 2011 honorees were Ken Altman and the late Jack Williams.

If you know someone that is helping pave the way for the industry's advancement, drop me a line at [email protected] and let me know who you think should be GPN's 2012 Hort Hero.

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345

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