The U.S consumer market for pesticides and fertilizers is valued at $4-5 billion at the marketer level. Despite the fact that many prior users have stopped buying market products, and still others have decreased their purchases during the economic downturn, the market showed a positive 4% growth between 2007 and 2009, in spite of consumption numbers which indicated expectations of a 4% market decline.
Much of the growth has come as a result of price increases by market leaders. New customers who switched from relying on specialist service providers to do-it-yourself home applications have also given the market a boost, offsetting declines in the prior user category.
This is particularly important, as the economic slump has caused somewhat of a shift in the market away from paying for lawn control services and to some extent also for pest control services in favor of do-it-yourself applications. Customers are looking for convenient applicators and ready to use packaging, which avoid the need for mixing and dealing with the storage or disposal of left overs. As a result, the key market drivers for all segments of the consumer market for pesticides and fertilizers are convenience and simplicity. Also contributing to customer convenience is improved manufacturer labeling, which has become much clearer in response to consumer demand.
The largest market categories in 2009 were insecticides and fertilizers, commanding about 52% and 32% of the market respectively. The most important sub-categories within the insecticide product segment were pet, outdoor and household products. Lawn applications dominated the fertilizer segment.
Over the next five years, Kline projects a total market growth rate of about 3%. Household categories are expected to see most gain, with grow at rates above market average, as consumers are concerned about family safety, food safety, pet health, and strive to keep their home bug-free.