Changes in outdoor lifestyles confirmed by international trade flows

World trade of Outdoor products grows at a rapid pace, even more dynamic than the average of the Indoor home products.


Home items Marketselection Internationalisation Consumption pattern Foreign markets International marketing International marketing

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Three clues make a proof" as said Agatha Christie. Two recent events and the article below seem to confirm an increasing international interest in outdoor lifestyles and open-air activities.
A first evidence in this sense comes from ISTAT - the Italian National Institute of Statistics -, which recently chose to integrate the representative basket of consumer products with products such as "tables, chairs and outdoor and garden furniture".
Moreover, few weeks ago, a new exhibition project was announced (HOMI Outdoor) organized by FieraMilano and dedicated to outdoor, open spaces, gardens, terraces.
Finally, the world trade data available in ExportPlanning allow to document the development and the signals of the international market potential of Outdoor's products (gardening segments and outdoor furniture).

World trade of Outdoor & Home products

(Index 2000=100, euros)

Commercio mondiale in euro- outdoor e home(indice 200=100)
Note: the gray area is based on world trade flows forecasts.

The comparison between the positive dynamics of the Home products and a basket of outdoors products - even if only a partially basket of outdoors products- shows a positive growth differential, signaling market potential of the Outdoor1 segment. In particular, international flows of outdoor products, although also affected by the Great Recession (with a decline comparable to that of the Home System), grew by a time and a half compared to the values of the beginning of the century and expected to increase further in the forecast scenario up to 2022.

In addition to the growth prospects, as documented in the table below (StudiaBo's elaboration based on the Market Selection tool) the market potential2 of the Outdoor sector are related to not only high-income countries (Germany, France, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States at the top of the ranking of potentials), but also emerging countries - both in Europe (for example, Poland, at the sixth place in the ranking of potential markets, and Russia , ranked 10th) and overseas (with Mexico ranked 8th, China ranked 12th, Vietnam ranked 6th, South Korea ranked 22nd).

Outdoor's products: Top-20 markets for potential score (0/100, max=100)
Rank Market Score Rank Market Score
1 Germany 100 11 Canada 90
2 France 99 12 China 88
3 Netherlands 98 13 Italy 88
4 United Kingdom 98 14 Belgium 84
5 United States 96 15 Czech Republic 82
6 Poland 93 16 Vietnam 82
7 Spain 92 17 Switzerland 81
8 Mexico 92 18 Japan 81
9 Austria 91 19 Sweden 78
10 Russia 90 20 Ukraine 77

Therefore, for the exporting companies of this sector, interesting prospects are envisaged, as well as the need to decline their proposal to foreign markets in terms of marketing mix, which tend to be characterized - as reported by the Homi staff - by distribution channels and more and more specialized sales points.

1) The basket of products considered in this analysis is representative, in particular, of the Gardening and Outdoor Furniture segments (garden umbrellas and similar, accessories, tools and appliances for garden care). Although it is a group of products that is certainly not exhaustive, this basket can be considered as a sign of the market dynamics that are affecting the Outdoor sector.
2) The ranking of markets considered in this analysis took into account, for the basket of products of the Outdoor sector, the following potential indicators:
  • apparent consumption, which is the sum of imports and an estimate of national sales, in 2018;
  • forecasts for the growth of imports in the period 2019-2021.