Home is where the heart is….  Isn’t that the saying?

It couldn’t be truer in the last few months as we have all learnt to spend a lot more time within our own four walls.  This subsequent rise of “the home economy”  has upended markets, growth prospects and predictions for many organisations – some positively and some, unfortunately, a lot harder hit.

The home and our relation to it remains a huge driver of growth across a wide swath of market segments.  Evidence suggests increases in a diverse range of sector from spices to seeds and pet food to power tools with so many products in between.

As some of these trends are set to continue, industry players must understand not only the high-level trends, but also the more nuanced way consumers are using their products. New customers are great but keeping them engaged is the challenge as we enter this new phase of the pandemic and beyond.

And this is where research can help provide insight, underpin future growth strategies and opportunities to achieve business growth.

The overall key learning for businesses from studies so far is that to exploit these growing markets and changing behaviour they are going to have to focus on educating and engaging with their potential consumers

We will look at 4 sectors in particular and see what we can learn for the future. They are

  • Baking
  • Gardening
  • Home improvement
  • Pet care

Home Baking

In 2020, more people rolled up their sleeves and took out their cake tins.   Who hasn’t tried making sourdough or banana bread?

Many embraced the opportunity to be a Great British Bake off Contestant in their own home for a variety of reasons including to

  • relieve stress
  • give children a positive activity to do as a family
  • put freshness on the table
  • embrace cooking from scratch principles

As a result, core ingredient sales rocketed — from spices to yeast.  This trend doesn’t seem to have abated recently and with hybrid being the modus operandum for office work in the near future, it would seem that  home baking is here to stay.  So, take note any baking brands.  Evidence so far suggests that consumers want

  • Products that deliver under the banners of “family fun”  or “making good memories.”
  • New baking projects by through kits or recipes that involve children

Grow Your Own

I personally indulged in the ‘Grow Your Own’ trend and I am not alone as general demand for allotments grew dramatically over this period.

Some surveys suggest that as many as a quarter of adults had started a food garden because of the coronavirus pandemic.

But even beyond the pandemic, sales of lawn and garden consumer products will continue to benefit from increased remote work, which gives more people time to pursue DIY hobbies. However, the rate of new gardeners picking up the hobby is expected to decrease, and some are likely to drop out as their interest wanes.

So, those working in the gardening sector need to offer information and other support to ensure newbies are successful and find the hobby rewarding  and then heightened interest may continue. Companies should also think beyond seeds, plants and fertilizer and look for opportunities to cross-sell additional outdoor living products as evidence suggests customers have initiated many other outdoor projects such as installing fire pits, landscaping paths or patios.


I think we have all undertaken some sort of DIY project during lockdown whether it be big or small, successful or otherwise!!!

Kitchen and bathrooms will likely continue to be popular spaces to upgrade, as consumers seek to modernise while adding greater comfort and convenience.  The need for a home office will continue as more companies offer a permanent WFH option. Within this sector, industry players will need to adjust their offerings to meet this heightened demand and change of focus and priorities.

Pet Ownership

Many welcomed a four legged friend into their home in the last 18 months  and this supercharged the pet industry with a surge in e-commerce sales.

In this sector, providers must learn to adapt to a permanent remix of physical and digital shopping behaviours and rapidly expanding opportunities for manufacturer direct-to-consumer selling, retailer-based subscriptions and same-day delivery, if the wants of current consumers are to be met.

In short,  we are all facing a new ‘ norm’  and we fail to understand our customers new needs and behaviour at our peril!!