Italian greenlovers: during the lockdown the passion for gardening and the cultivation of plants and small vegetable gardens on the balcony grew not only among enthusiasts but also among those who had never before tried this type of activity.
According to the latest survey by Nomisma’s “The world after lockdown” Observatory, if in 2019 there were 16 million ‘green lovers’ (equal to 32% of the population), the quarantine, with the increase in free time available and the desire to be distracted but also to surround oneself as much as possible with ‘beautiful and pleasant’ things, has made the passion for greenery grow: 7% of Italians started practicing the hobby of gardening during the lockdown, and the number green lovers is 19 million (39% of the population).
The new greenlovers have a precise identikit, these are mainly women (in this cluster 10% of those who started gardening during the lockdown) and Millennials (12% the new entries) of small inhabited centers (9% ). The share of new ‘hobby farmers’ also grows in families with monthly incomes above 2,500 euros per month (10%) and among those who have done smart working (11%).
The increase in greenlovers has led to a growth in green purchases: soil and potting soil, seeds and plants already ripe in pots are the categories for which a third of buyers have seen their spending grow. Given the positive experience for online purchases, 28% of the most “digitized” green lovers expect to increase their appeal also in the next 12 months.
Imagining a return to normal, according to forecasts 17 million (34% of the population) will be Italians who will continue to cultivate their passion for greenery, taking care of a land, a vegetable garden or dedicating themselves to the maintenance of the garden or plants at home and on the balcony.
Lockdown aside, who are the Italian green lovers? There are those who take care for passion or pastime of land, gardens and gardens (the so-called ‘green experts’, 12 million Italians in 2019) and those who dedicate themselves to plants and flowers at home or on the balcony (‘green enthusiast’ , 14 million Italians in 2019). In the first case, these are people with an average age of 53 who live in the suburbs of the North (in the case of gardens) and the South (especially land and gardens); in the second, mainly women with an average age of 45, who live in the city center.
Green enthusiasts buy gardening products especially in furniture stores, do-it-yourself / DIY and on the internet, while green experts have garden centers, specialized retailers and consortia as their main channels of reference.
8% of Italians dedicate themselves to the garden for passion or pastime while the share of those who take care of a land is 4%. Green experts manage to devote many hours a week to their passion, also because in most cases the green space is adjacent to the house (73% in the case of vegetable gardens and 59% in the case of land). The products of the earth are mainly intended for self-consumption (87% of those who make the vegetable garden and 79% of those who cultivate land) while the remaining part gives them or sells them to friends and relatives.
Those who take care of a garden or terrace (17% of the population) love to fill their green space (92% adjacent to the house and 86% on the ground floor) especially with flowers (75%), trees and ornamental plants (65%), aromatic plants (63%), but also with furnishing elements such as tables and sofas, decorative vases, barbecues and much more.
The people of the green enthusiasts (27% of the population), divided between those who take care of plants and flowers at home (49%) or on the balcony (51%), love to grow mainly aromatic herbs (32%), succulents (24 %), vegetables (15%) and orchids (15%).
The purchase channels change according to the type of product sought: hypermarkets and supermarkets (40% of green lovers have purchased in this channel in the last year) are the main purchase channel for land and soil, while for seeds and agrochemicals there are it mainly targets consortia (13%); do-it-yourself / DIY stores are the favorites for the purchase of tools and vases / other accessories (by 28% of green lovers); for plants, reference is made above all to garden centers / nurseries (37%) and to the florist (38%).
There is also the use of the online channel: in the last year 34% of green lovers have made purchases for gardening on the internet on at least one occasion using mainly generic online sales sites (40%), sites specializing in gardening (22 %) and do-it-yourself store sites (21%). Those who buy online do so mainly because they find cheaper prices (22%), because they find it difficult to find certain products in the area where they live (19%) and because they find a wider choice than in physical stores (18%).
The survey by Nomisma’s “The world after lockdown” Observatory continuously investigates habits, moods, consumption and expectations related to post Coronavirus on a sample of 1,000 Italians responsible for purchases (18-65 years). the last study was carried out ad hoc for Passione in Verde and Ital-Agro.