Former “Christmas Tree Promotion Board” is now “Real Christmas Tree Board”
Plus, a look ahead at inflation and supply: Real Christmas trees may cost more due to inflation, but consumers say, “it’s worth it.”
HOWELL, Mich., July 25, 2022 – When it comes to real Christmas trees, media and consumers could be forgiven for wondering just who’s who and what’s what.
A journalist searching for a source is likely to bump into the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA), and the Christmas Tree Promotion Board (CTPB). But in a survey of 26 journalists by communications firm FleishmanHillard, 65% could not name any of those organizations without prompting. And once they saw the names, nearly three-quarters of the journalists said they were confusing and – as far as they knew – all the organizations were the same. Nearly half had no idea the (then) CTPB represented Christmas trees that are grown, not manufactured. The name didn’t do anything to make that clear.
The former “Christmas Tree Promotion Board” is now “Real Christmas Tree Board.”
To bring clarity to the confusion, the former “Christmas Tree Promotion Board” has re-branded itself the “Real Christmas Tree Board” (RCTB). Chartered in 2015, the organization is an expert resource for insights about farm-grown Christmas trees. The RCTB falls under the USDA’s purview as a research and promotion program. Its mission is to share the benefits of fresh Christmas trees with consumers through promotion and public relations, while engaging in research to better serve its customers and growers. The USDA provides oversight of the RCTB to ensure transparency, accuracy, and fairness in its communications.
With the new name comes a new logo, which includes an illustration of a real Christmas tree, roots and all. It is distinct from the more generic graphic icons of Christmas trees used by other organizations.
“We’re all about ‘real’ – period,” said Marsha Gray, Executive Director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “Real growers, real trees, and the real joy they produce have always been our focus. Now our name and our logo are just as clear as our focus.”
For real insights about real Christmas trees, come to those who grow and know.
Real farmers with real experience are the media’s – and the public’s – best resource for clarity and context on complex issues affecting the Christmas tree industry. In the past the RCTB has offered research, insights, and commentary on the impact of the pandemic on Christmas tree sales, the multiple factors affecting regional Christmas tree supply, and the effects of extreme weather events.
Later this summer the RCTB will release the findings of its annual consumer survey, along with additional insights from a member/grower survey. Here are two headlines that have already emerged:
Real Christmas tree users believe the trees are worth the price and are willing to pay more this year if necessary to get one.
- According to the survey, consumers expect inflation to increase the price of real Christmas trees compared to last year by approximately $4 to $12 per tree. (NOTE: That is a consumer prediction, not an industry determination.)
- However, the joy of a real Christmas tree appears to trump the prospect of paying more for it as 85% of those surveyed agreed with the statement, “The price of a real Christmas tree is worth it.”
- In fact, 79% agreed, “If the cost of a real Christmas tree goes up this year in light of the rising costs of many consumer goods, I will still buy a real Christmas tree.”
- 73% went further, agreeing, “If my personal holiday budget is tight this year, I will prioritize buying a real Christmas tree.”
The real Christmas tree industry didn’t run out of trees last year – again.
- 87% of survey respondents said they got the tree they wanted at the first location they shopped at in 2021.
- In fact, 65% reported “no difficulty at all” in finding and purchasing a real Christmas tree last year.
- Doom-and-gloom predictions about “running out of trees” have become an annual holiday tradition. But the industry didn’t run out of trees in 2020 either. Or in 2019. Or the year before that. And it doesn’t expect to in 2022.
- To be fair, it can be tempting to represent isolated experiences as trends, even when they’re not, and at times supplies of certain trees in certain places can be tight. But no single retailer, lot, nursery, farm, or consumer experience is reflective of the entire industry. The industry has consistently had a real Christmas tree for everyone who wants one. That’s why having context from the industry itself is imperative in covering stories like this.
Coming up: Oooooooh that scent …
Look for this summer’s release of additional survey results to touch on the desire people have to “return to normal” and how a real tree symbolizes that for them. There will be first-ever data exploring scent in detail – what Christmas trees smell like to people, how it makes them feel, and a surprising ranking of various scents associated with the holidays. And we’ll revisit a past finding about those who switched from artificial to real and how many currently say they wish they’d started buying real Christmas trees sooner (it’s not a small number).
Until then, Merry Christmas in July from the (new) Real Christmas Tree Board.
TRUE Global Intelligence (TGI), the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard, fielded a survey of n=26 American media journalists, including n=1 journalist FH has previously communicated with. All survey respondents work in media/entertainment in a writing, editing or publishing capacity. The survey was fielded from January 10 to January 18, 2022.
The consumer survey was also fielded by TGI. N=1,500 Americans adults ages 21 to 49 years. All survey respondents celebrate or observe Christmas and either decide or share in the decision of whether and what kind of Christmas tree to put up in their home each year or influence their home’s decisionmaker. The survey was fielded from May 26 to June 13, 2022.
Know Your Sources
The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) is the media’s expert resource for insights about farm-grown Christmas tree. Chartered 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 growers. The USDA provides oversight of the RCTB to ensure transparency, accuracy, and fairness in its communications. The RCTB provides the media and public with accurate information, added insights, and the latest news and inspiration for the season. It represents real Christmas trees sold in the United States and is supported through annual assessments paid by any business growing or importing 500 or more real Christmas trees. This press release was developed and distributed by the RCTB. Search “Real Christmas Tree Board” online and visit RealChristmasTreeBoard.com
National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) is the national trade association focusing on policy and regulation issues affecting the real Christmas tree industry. It serves the same constituents as the RCTB but with a different purpose. The NCTA represents members with one voice to protect and advocate on the industry’s behalf. It represents state and regional associations and affiliated businesses that grow and sell Christmas trees or provide related supplies and services. The NCTA is known for presenting the White House Christmas tree on display in the Blue Room each year.
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 Harman1 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 manufactured overseas.3