Local branding is key garden centre message says HTA

Growers and garden retailers have a golden opportunity to capitalise on the increasing interest in "local" by telling customers more about the local plants and products that they stock, the HTA's latest Consumer Insight study has found.

Research for the HTA from the Future Foundation shows that in 2009 74% of the population agreed that every effort should be made to prevent the disappearance of local and regional differences. This increasing interest is particularly felt by women and those in the 45-64 year old age group — core garden centre customers.

There has been strong growth in food halls and farmers markets in recent years and local produce plays an important role. The research shows that 50% of the population bought a local product in the last 12 months — a figure that increases to 62% among 55-64 year olds. Additional research shows that the appearance of plants is the key motivation to buy. However, when presented with 2 similar looking plants at similar price points the consumer is more likely to select the product  showing the Union Jack, county flag or other mark displaying local provenance.

HTA marketing director Andrew Maxted said, "There is no doubt that the power of local continues to grow and the garden industry should tell customers more about the local products that they sell. We would encourage growers and retailers to tell the story behind the local products — where they were grown, who grew them and badge them accordingly."


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