A recent study from Cleveland-based Freedonia Group tracks the U.S. market for a variety of garden supplies. Total demand in the U.S. for packaged lawn and garden consumables will rise 3.4 percent annually through 2018, the study (No. 3183) reports. The market value of consumables will reach almost $9.0 billion in 2018. In 2013, market value stood at $7.6 billion.

Freedonia analysts say fertilizer will remain the largest supplies segment, while growing media and seeds will increase the fastest. Organic formulations will outpace the dominant conventional segment, although from a small base. One example of a lawn care consumable is ProGanics Biotic Soil Media, which is a topsoil alternative. Profile Products is the manufacturer. The product aids in establishing sustainable vegetation in near-impossible conditions. 

Freedonia says that government and institutional customers will spend $300 million in 2013 on lawn and garden consumables. By 2018, those customers will spend $335 million. For fertilizers, government and institutional customers spent $120 in 2013. By 2018, fertilizer spending should rise to $140 million. The report also breaks out turf consumables demand on golf courses.

What about landscaping and turf equipment?

The government market is looking good for grounds equipment, say researchers at Onvia. The Seattle-based company provides businesses with the intelligence they need to win more government business. Onvia market analyst Lyndon Dacuan counts at least $109 million in leads for planned government purchases of mowers/grounds equipment/utility vehicles and related gear for 2015. In 2016 he predicts at least $97 million in planned purchases of these kinds of grounds equipment. Onvia calculated these figures using data from the firm’s Spending Forecast Center. Note: this market sizing is based on the government budget documents that Onvia has in its system. The statistics may not necessarily reflect the entire market in a comprehensive manner. The Toro Groundsmaster mower (pictured above to the right) and the Jacobsen TurfCat mower (pictured below to the left) are examples of lawn equipment that governments are buying.

Dacuan says that the pace of cooperative purchasing activity (through associations such as National Joint Powers Alliance – NJPA and Houston-Galveston Area Council – HGAC) is increasing in the second half of 2015. He says that the practice of leveraging contracts (often referred to as “piggyback contracts”) is also becoming more prevalent in the government marketplace around the U.S.

Onvia has issued a whitepaper that spotlights the growing use of cooperative purchasing and piggyback purchasing arrangements in the state and local government and education markets.

City governments are frequent buyers of turf, lawn and grounds maintenance equipment, based on Govalytics government budget data. Govalytics is a sales and marketing tool that provides local government budget and capital planning intelligence. Govalytics data helps businesses target the right prospects in the government market. Govalytics shows a variety of cities, including Farmington, Conn. and Lakeville, Minn., have mower purchases from several brands earmarked in their upcoming budgets.

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