Gardening and Vegetable Garden Markets in Japan: Key Research Findings 2019

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the gardening and vegetable garden market in Japan, and found out the market size, the trend by market players, and the future outlook. 

Transition of Market Size of Gardening and Vegetable Garden
Transition of Market Size of Gardening and Vegetable Garden

Market Overview

Size of the gardening and vegetable garden market in FY2018 (based on the shipment value at producers/makers) was 227,500 million yen, increased by 1.6% from the previous fiscal year. In FY2019, the market is projected to attain 230,400 million yen, up slightly by 1.3% from the previous fiscal year.

As the one-time boom cooled down, the gardening and vegetable garden market reached its maturity. Formerly, the market was supported mainly by the seniors; however, in recent years, as increasing number of current customer is retiring from the gardening due to aging, developing new customers is an urgent issue for the market growth hereafter.

Under such circumstances, the seedling propagators/nursery seedling makers, material makers and retail stores, etc., have been actively promoting attempts to attract new customers; by posting information via SNS to expand demand of the younger generations, and by creating ‘long-stay’ stores with cafes and playground for prospective customers with children.

Noteworthy Topics

Promotion of Conserving Productive Greenery District may Increase Allotment Gardens

As for the vegetable gardens, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) have been encouraging the conservation of farmland, the ‘Productive Greenery District’ in the urbanized areas, the distinction of which is to be terminated in 2022. 
The Productive Greenery District today was designated in the amended law enforced in 1992 to preserve the farmland in the metropolitan areas. The law mandated the landowners to manage active farming in exchange for 30 years of exemption in the real estate tax. According to MLIT, there are 13,000 hectares of Productive Greenery Districts nationwide, and approximately a quarter of those, 3,200 hectares are in Tokyo Metropolis.
There were concerns that much of the Productive Greenery District will be quickly turned into residential land after 2022, when the tax exemption terminates. However, the amendment in 2018 retained the landowners a moratorium on payment of the inheritance tax if the Productive Greenery District is used as leased farmland. Moreover, the “Urban Farmland Leasing Act (Urban Farmland Leasing Facilitation Act)” enforced in September 2018 deregulated restrictions on the lease of the Productive Greenery District. 
A new measure was established to make utilization of urban farmland easier, enabling direct lease of the farmland by the landowner to the allotment garden establisher.
With a launch of the system relaxing the rigid requirements for lending urban farmlands (the Productive Greenery Districts), enterprises and NPOs are facilitated on farmland lease; the number of allotment gardens is projected to increase in the urban areas hereafter.

Future Outlook

The size of customers for gardening and vegetable gardens is likely to remain stable at certain level. Nevertheless, developing new customers is a challenge, and every company is trying to expand their products that create opportunities for potential customers to have exposure to plants. 
The seedling propagators/nursery seedling makers are rolling out the products such as easy-to-grow vegetable/fruit seedlings, easy-to-care-for flowers/trees, vegetable seedlings with functionality like high nutrition, and cold-resistant seedlings for gardening in fall/winter. Meanwhile, the material makers position indoor gardening as a gateway for new customers; they are trying to acquire customers by the sales of house plants (foliage house plants), kitchen garden plants (edible plants like herbs and Japanese basils that can be grown in the kitchen), and vegetable planters. 
As these factors are seen as the opportunities, the size of the gardening and vegetable garden market (based on the shipment value at producers/makers) is projected to grow steadily, reaching 242,200 million yen by FY2024 (106.5% compared to FY2018).

Research Outline

1.Research Period: August to November 2019
2.Research Object: Plant-business companies (seed and seedling manufacturers, flower wholesale market, distributors, home centers, garden centers, flower shops, leased farms, gardening and greenery businesses, etc.), companies supplying gardening materials (material makers, gardening material retailers, etc.), authorities concerned, related associations, etc.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by the expert researchers, surveys by telephone and email, and literature research

Gardening and Vegetable Garden Markets in Japan

The gardening and vegetable garden market in this research is classified into plant field and material field. The plant field refers to seeds and seedlings for flower gardens, vegetable seedlings/fruit seedlings, flowers and trees, bulbs, lawns/ ground-covering plants and potted plants. The material field refers to pots/planters, pesticides for home gardening, fertilizers for home gardening, horticulture soil for home gardening, lawn mowers / grass mowers / trimmers, and other gardening-related products.* Market size of the vegetable seedlings and fruit seedlings are counted within the size of gardening and vegetable gardens market. 

*The ‘other gardening-related products’ refers to the imported brand gardening items (gloves, waist aprons and other brand items), garden furniture, wood items such as wood decks and trellis, gardening equipment (sprays, sprinklers), and gardening hardware (transplanting shovels, lawn sweepers, weeders, garden hammers, scissors, etc.).

<Products and Services in the Market>

Plants (seedlings for flowerbeds, flowers and trees, bulbs, potted plants, lawns/ ground-covering plants, vegetable seedlings), Gardening materials (pots/planters, pesticides, fertilizers, horticulture soil, related products, garden furniture, gardening equipment [sprays, sprinklers, hardware, tools], lawn mowers/ grass mowers / trimmers)

Published Report

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