2 August 2018
From Monstera and Calathea to succulents and the cactus, houseplant sales have soared over the past year. According to the Flowers & Plants Association, the UK’s flower and indoor plant market is now worth £2.2bn and the National Garden Survey reports that 30% of all US householders bought at least one houseplant in 2017. In this post we look at why indoor plants have become a health and decor staple in the home.
As explored in our Cramped Living report, increased population density and urbanisation has resulted in smaller homes. Limited space in cities means newer homes are built with smaller gardens or no garden at all. According to a 2017 HouseSimple study, almost 31.4% of properties on the market across the UK’s towns and cities don’t have a garden. Instead, householders craving more natural surroundings are increasingly bringing the outdoors in, using houseplants to create an indoor urban oasis.
Beyond the need for more natural surroundings, plants have become a key way to decorate and style the home. Renters account for 37% of all householders in America and 30.7% in Europe. Restrictions on how renters can decorate has resulted in them looking to alternative ways to personalise their homes. Houseplants provide an accessible way to inject colour, pattern and scent into the home, without the need for more permanent alterations. We’ve been tracking the emergence of this trend for over two years, one of the weak signals we identified back in 2016 was ‘Urban Jungle’, a book written by Igor Josifovic and Judith De Graaff. These early adopters helped to make houseplants aspirational once more, inspiring the mass market through visually engaging imagery and styling. This helped the trend shift from a niche behaviour to the mainstream.
Forecast back in 2016, toxin free homes were a key driver in our SS18 trend Take Root, where houseplants also linked to a greater focus on health and wellbeing. Awareness of air pollution continues as experts highlight dangerous levels of toxins not just throughout cities, but within our homes. Personal care products, household paints and building materials have all been linked with long term air pollution within homes, leaving many consumers concerned for their health (Science Magazine).
As a result, air purifying houseplants have become increasingly popular as a way to improve household air quality. Google searches for ‘air purifying plants’ and ‘aloe vera’ were up 550% YoY in 2017, with searches for air-cleansing ‘snake plants’ up 700%. We expect to see a continued demand for houseplants that regulate household toxins as the topic of air pollution hits the mainstream.
As this trend evolves, a demand for beautifully designed plant care products creates opportunities for product and range design: from miniature watering cans to self-watering planters. Becoming more confident with houseplants we also expect to see consumers upgrading to larger or more decorative plants such as Persian Shield or Strelitzia.
To find out about the impact of living in small homes take a look at our Cramped Living Future Insight Report. Cramped Living 2019, focuses on the detail of small living, outlining the challenges families face when living in smaller homes, to identify opportunities for brands to tap into emerging needs and ultimately help homeowners live well within small, shared spaces. It is available to buy now in digital format from our online shop. To download a free abstract, click ‘download now’ to the right of this post.
Overall a great day which involved getting everyone's thoughts, ideas and reservations down on paper. I am looking forward to seeing how this information will be overlaid with the vital trend insights we need to drive new product development and long-term business growth.
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