4 Reasons To Encourage Your Customers To Garden
According to a global study conducted in 2020, consumers today want to make healthy and more sustainable living choices, but they often don’t know where to start (1). This is something that YOU, grocery retailers, need to explore. As important players in the lives of consumers, how can you help them in taking the necessary action? How can you stimulate healthier and more sustainable habits?
Seedling kit promotions like Little Garden and Little Chefs are proven initiatives with which retailers have done just that. By offering the solutions and tools to grow their own little gardens to shopping families, retailers have successfully stimulated new habits among families, who have fun learning about nature and fresh food. And everywhere where these campaigns have been rolled out, families have always appreciated the contribution of the retailers.
In fact, family gardening has an important conservational impact on future generations as children who participate in this activity have a more positive environmental attitude (2). Gardening is even considered as one of the most direct means through which people of all ages become aware of themselves as part of the Earth’s life support system (3).
So, let’s sum up the reasons why encouraging your customers to take up gardening is a great first step to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle. Here are the 4 things that they will appreciate:
1. Gardening helps clean the air and ground
Even little plants perform an essential task. They capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through their leaves, which helps to clean the air. And through photosynthesis, they release water and oxygen back into the ecosystem.
What does it signify? It signifies that each one of our green friends is a little oxygen factory. Their vital function helps not only recycle the air that we need to survive but also removes chemicals and bacteria that float in the air. Their roots also have an important role in absorbing chemicals and heavy metals from the soil and groundwater.
2. Gardening gives nutrients back to the soil
More than just cleansing the ground, plants also give back nutrients through their roots, which can have a significant impact on the soil quality. How do they do that? When leaves, flowers, and other organic matter fall to the ground from a tree or flower, they provide new organic resources to nourish both the topsoil and ground. This way, the roots of plants can also play an important role in stabilizing the soil and filtering water.
Some plants are also extremely beneficial for preventing soil erosion. According to the WWF (4), the effects of soil erosion go beyond the loss of fertile land, leading to an increase in pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers. But the silver lining is that plants can function as a protective cover for land and, with their roots, hold the soil in position and prevent it from being blown or washed away.
3. Welcoming native wildlife to their gardens
At least 90% of all plants require cross-pollination to spread and thrive. So here comes the importance of birds, bugs, and bees who are responsible for the transfer of pollen that enables fertilization and the production of seeds. Thus, by inviting the buzzing little friends to their gardens, your customers are helping plants to grow and flourish while balancing the ecosystem with food production.
Welcoming pollinators to their gardens means that your customers are providing friendly habitats for a vast range of animals and plant species. (5) Besides serving as a food source, their gardens can also protect them from predators and weather, and even give space for them to complete their life cycles.
How can you celebrate our important buzzing friends? Let’s have a look at 2 great examples: Checkers Little Garden in 2020 and Woolworths Discovery Garden in 2021. Both are seedling kit promotions to which retailers, together with UNGA, added a focus on bee-attracting plant varieties. For South African families, UNGA even created a wooden bee hotel that families could purchase to complete their Little Garden collection and grow bee-attracting gardens.
4. Eating from a kitchen garden
Growing food is a fun and educational experience for kids and families. It helps everyone become more aware of the environment and also learn where food comes from before ending up on supermarket shelves or kitchen tables.
Besides, as seen with our Little Chef campaign at PLUS supermarkets in the Netherlands, children also learned to appreciate fresh and healthy food by participating in the process of growing herbs and vegetables. Gardening stimulates children to open up to a wider variety of foods in their diet, helping parents to deal with little picky eaters at the same time. It’s a great way for retailers to help their customers, once more.
Stimulating gardening habits through loyalty campaigns
As a grocery retailer, raising awareness about nature and encouraging more environmentally friendly behaviors is extremely relevant. Consumers expect brands to help them, and that explains why seedling kit collectible promotions are so well received by shoppers when grocery retailers run such campaigns.
By offering your customers the opportunity to start gardening, you are giving your community a practical solution to something that they are looking for: an opportunity to make healthy and more sustainable living choices. This way, seedling kits are seen as high-value rewards because they open doors to new experiences and a new lifestyle. As said by John Tucker, Director of Woodland Outreach at the Woodland Trust, “One individual tree might not make a difference but if 10 million people put one tree in, that would.” (6)
It’s now time to use your power as a retailer to spread environmental awareness and guide your customers!
Sources: (1) Globescan 2020, (2) Journal of Environmental Horticulture (1999), (3) Children’s Environments Vol. 12, No. 2, Children’s Gardens and Children in Farming (June 1995), (4) World WildLife (WWF), (5) National Pollinator Garden Network, (6)The Guardian (2019)