HOWELL, Mich. – The questions have become a tradition for real Christmas tree growers: How are the sales going? How are the supplies? What about this crazy weather? Are the prices going up? Are you going to run out of trees? The answers rarely change:
Looks good… Varies by region, but strong overall… Crazy for sure, but isolated and the industry is stronger than any event… Like almost all consumer goods this year, probably a little… and No. Big no. We didn’t do it last year, or the year before, or the year before, or, well, you get it.
The answers don’t change much because the real Christmas tree industry is decentralized, with major wholesalers in various parts of the country, and because the seven to 12 year growth period needed to bring a tree to market means that the supply can be adjusted by leaving the trees in the ground a little longer or harvesting them a little earlier – whatever a particular season dictates.
But rather than leave the outlook to tradition, guesswork or those who aren’t front and center, the Real Christmas Tree Board surveyed 55 wholesale growers of real Christmas trees across the United States last month. last. Together, the respondents supply about two-thirds of the country’s actual Christmas tree market.
When paired with the Board’s annual report consumer survey, it provides the most accurate forecast of the season possible. (The full consumer survey results will be released next month.)
Conclusion: 2022 will look a lot like 2021
“The real Christmas tree industry met the demand last year and it will meet the demand this year,” said Marsha Gray, executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “It’s basically been a year without surprises.”
“Our annual consumer survey showed that 86% of true Christmas tree shoppers said they had no problem finding a nearby place to buy their tree in the past year,” Gray said. . “And 87% told us they found the tree they wanted the first place they looked.” 1
“We expect this year to be no different,” she said. “The producer survey tells us that demand is healthy. Retailers are seeing continued consumer interest in real Christmas trees, and the supply currently matches that interest quite well. The majority – 67% of wholesalers we spoke to – said they expect to sell all the trees they plan to harvest this year. In terms of volume, more than half – 55% – said they expect to sell about the same amount of real Christmas trees as last year. The balance was divided: some expect to sell more, others less. 2
Here are some of the other wholesaler survey results:
Input costs are rising for everyone.
All respondents believe that the cost of their inputs has increased compared to last year. The most frequently cited range of increase was 11% to 15% (36% of respondents), but more than a quarter (27%) said it was even higher, at 16% to 20% over last year’s input costs. Another quarter (25%) said these costs had increased by up to 10% year over year. And 10% of respondents put it even higher, with their estimated year-over-year increase of more than 21%. 2
Producers plan to increase their wholesale prices.
The majority of producers (71%) cited a likely increase in wholesale prices of 5% to 15% from last year, while 11% of respondents planned to increase their wholesale prices by a greater amount. modest: up to no more than 5% compared to last year. . Another 11% put their expected price increase at 16% to 20% more than last year. Only a few – 5% – expect their increase to reach 21% or more. Less than 2% of respondents said they did not plan to increase their wholesale prices this year. 2
The main concerns of producers relate to slowdowns in the supply chain and the impact of inflation on consumer spending.
The survey presented a list of possible concerns and asked wholesalers to rank them from greatest to least concern. In line with the supply chain issues in the country – and around the world – since the start of the pandemic, the main concern was the slowdown in freight/shipping/logistics/supply chain, rated by 44% of respondents. The second concern was, unsurprisingly, the impact of inflation on consumer spending (ranked by 35% of respondents). Third, the availability and cost of labor (21%). Too little supply ranked fourth (25%), weather fifth (33%), and least concerning of all was excess supply, with more than half (53%) the ranking sixth. 2
“There are no twists and turns in the true story of the Christmas tree this year,” Gray said. “Just the steady hand of professional growers who bring joy to consumers and business acumen in the market.”
Gray has advice for people who are crying wolf about providing real Christmas trees every season: “Remember that no story is the whole story. It has always been the case that this retailer may outsell this retailer, but neither provides the full picture. The real Christmas tree industry is bigger than any farm, retailer or region – and we’ve never run out of trees.
Inflation has been the The year’s dominant consumer products story, so Gray returns to the consumer survey for additional perspective.
“While our grower survey tells us that wholesale prices are likely to be higher for real Christmas trees this year, our consumer survey tells us that people were expecting the same,” Gray said. “The good news is that fans of real Christmas trees say they think the trees are worth the price and are willing to pay more this year if needed for one – and it’s no surprise no more.” 1
1 About the consumer survey: TRUE Global Intelligence (TGI), the internal research firm of FleishmanHillard, conducted a survey of 1,500 American adults between the ages of 21 and 49. All survey respondents celebrate or observe Christmas and decide or share the decision of whether and what type of Christmas tree to put up in their home each year or influence the decision maker in their home. The poll was conducted from May 26 to June 13, 2022. The poll has a margin of error of ±2.5% and above for subgroups.
2 About the producer survey: The Real Christmas Tree Board, in conjunction with FleishmanHillard, conducted a survey of 55 wholesale growers of real Christmas trees across the United States. Each of the responding producers operates in one or more of the following regions: Northwest, West, Southwest, Midwest, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast. Together, the respondents supply more than two-thirds of the country’s real Christmas tree market. The survey was conducted in August 2022.
KNOW YOUR SOURCES
The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) is the expert media resource for farm-grown Christmas tree information. Established in 2015 as the Christmas Tree Promotion Board and renamed in 2022, it is a national research and promotion program whose mission is to share the benefits of fresh Christmas trees with consumers through promotion and public relations, while engaging in research to better serve our customers. and producers. The USDA provides oversight of RCTB to ensure the transparency, accuracy, and fairness of its communications. RCTB provides the media and the public with accurate information, additional information and the latest news and inspiration for the season. It represents real Christmas trees sold in the United States and is supported by annual dues paid by any company that grows or imports 500 or more real Christmas trees. This press release was produced and distributed by the RCTB. Search “Real Christmas Tree Board” online and visit RealChristmasTreeBoard.com
National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) Founded in 1955, is the national trade association and advocacy organization for the farm-grown Christmas tree industry, directing its public policy/government affairs and serving as the “voice of the industry”. The NCTA represents hundreds of active member farms, 38 state and regional associations, and thousands of affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related services. Every year since 1966, a member of the NCTA has presented the First Lady with the official White House Christmas tree which is displayed in the Blue Room. NCTA is also a trusted media resource on farm-grown Christmas trees.
American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA) does not represent real Christmas trees or growers. It is a 501(c)(3) corporation established in 2009 and has no known members representing the real Christmas tree industry. Thomas Harmon1 is CEO of ACTA and is also the founder and CEO of Balsam Hill, a seller of artificial Christmas trees.2 The majority of artificial Christmas trees are made overseas.3