Ball Horticultural Co. worked with an outside firm in 2010 to dig deeper into two consumer trends: grow-your-own vegetables and perennials.
According to information Ball sent out in a December eNewsletter, the study involved six focus groups in three cities and an online survey of more than 300 consumers.
Two focus groups were conducted in each of the following cities: Chicago, Charlotte, N.C., and Portland, Ore. Some key findings include:
• Forty percent of those surveyed say they started with vegetable and flower gardening at the same time.
• More than half of all vegetable gardens are actually done in pots and containers.
• The No. 1 driver of variety decisions is flavor.
• Seventy-three percent purchased veggies and herbs as plants, rather than seed packs.
• Newer gardeners are more likely to start from plants than from seeds.
• Casual gardeners plant veggies at least once each year; enthusiastic gardeners plant twice.
When it came to perennials, there were more fascinating findings:
• Males surveyed tended to like perennials because of “ease of use.”
• Perennials are for people who plan to stay put – they are a form of commitment.
• Blooming shrubs and bushes are considered perennials by consumers.
• Most varieties are unknown to the majority of consumers and 50 percent of the study participants say they would use more perennials if they were more familiar with them.
• The No. 1 source of perennial information is a plant tag.
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