On other fronts, second annual holiday market forecast points to
“2022 Redux,” with steady demand and sales.
Plus, good news for retailers: Real Christmas trees appear to be the exception to the anticipated “pull-back” in consumer spending for the 2023 holidays. Preview of consumer survey shows
95% of people who bought a real Christmas tree last year plan to spend
just as much or more on their tree this year. 2
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HOWELL, Mich., Sept. 26, 2023 – For the second year, the Real Christmas Tree Board has asked wholesale growers of real Christmas trees for their outlook on the coming holiday season. Their take? Good news and steady news …
Input costs and wholesale price increases have moderated year-over-year.
Even though input costs (think fertilizer, labor, and so on) have gone up year-over-year for nearly all wholesale growers, for many the costs have gone up less than they did last year:
- This year, the majority, 69%, say their input costs have increased up to 10% year-over-year. Last year, the majority, 64%, said their input costs had gone up 11% to 20% year-over-year.
- Only one respondent this year estimated their input cost increase at 21% or more. Last year, six respondents said as much.1
As a result, it appears many growers are choosing to absorb the increases rather than pass them along to retailers:
- Last year, the majority of growers (71%) cited a likely wholesale price increase of 5% to 15%. This year, only 25% reported the same thing.
- Just under half (48%) expect to take a wholesale price increase of less than 5% this year.
- More than a quarter (27%) don’t expect to increase their prices at all. 1
Otherwise, the market trend is supply meeting demand – again.
“The real Christmas tree industry consistently meets demand,” said Marsha Gray, Executive Director of the Real Christmas Tree Board. “This year, two-thirds of the wholesale growers (67%) surveyed told us they expect to sell all the trees they plan to harvest. And that’s how we, retailers, and consumers like it.”
Wholesale demand isn’t a concern, but media headlines about the economy are. The survey shows 90% of growers are concerned about recurring media predictions of reduced consumer spending at retail. 1 But Gray has reason to be upbeat. The results of the Real Christmas Tree Board’s annual survey of consumers arrived on the heels of the grower results, and it comes bearing good news.
The consumer sentiment on price is “worth it.”
“Only 5% of people who put up a real tree last year and plan to again this year say they expect to spend less on their Christmas tree than last year,” said Gray. “57% said they expect to spend about the same as they did last year, and 38% said more.” 2
“I’m not surprised,” continued Gray. “Fans of real Christmas trees consistently tell us they’re ‘worth it.’ In fact, 83% of those who typically buy a real Christmas tree said they agree with that exact phrase to describe their thoughts on the price of real Christmas trees.” 2
Full results of the consumer survey will be released in November.
1 About the Grower Survey: The Real Christmas Tree Board, in conjunction with FleishmanHillard, fielded a survey of 49 wholesale growers of real Christmas trees across the U.S. Each of the responding growers conducts business in one or more of the following regions: Northwest, West, Southwest, Mid-West, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. Combined, the respondents supply more than two-thirds of the country’s real Christmas trees market. The survey was fielded in August 2023; last year, the survey was fielded among 55 wholesale growers in August 2022.
2 About the Consumer Survey: TRUE Global Intelligence (TGI), the in-house research practice of FleishmanHillard, fielded a survey of 1,499 Americans adults ages 21 to 54 years. All survey respondents either celebrate/observe Christmas or display a Christmas tree. Respondents were required to 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 August 21 to September 6, 2023. The survey has a margin of error of ±2.5% and higher for subgroups.
KNOW YOUR SOURCES
The Real Christmas Tree Board (RCTB) is the media’s expert resource for insights about farm-grown Christmas trees. 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) founded in 1955, is the national trade association and advocacy organization for the farm-grown Christmas tree industry leading its public policy/governmental affairs and serving as the “voice of the industry.” 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. Each year, since 1966, an NCTA member has presented the official White House Christmas tree to the First Lady 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 Harman3 is CEO of ACTA and is also the founder and CEO of Balsam Hill, a seller of artificial Christmas trees. 4 The majority of artificial Christmas trees are manufactured overseas.5
5 Data pulled from the U.S. Census Bureau’s International Trade in Goods and Services report https://usatrade.census.gov