Americans Want To Grow More, Spend Less: Findings From Our 2021 Study

In 2020, the pandemic forced people to find creative ways to stay productive, healthy, and entertained. With restaurants short on staff, grocery stores short on supply, and consumers with extra time on their hands, the interest in home gardening reached heights like never before. From social media trends to never-before-seen Google search numbers, the ‘home-growing’ movement was in full effect. 

This got the Tower Garden team thinking about the ‘why.’ Were consumers seeing gardening as a tool to live healthier, to save money, or simply as a fun hobby to pass the time? Whatever the reasoning was, we wanted to find out more.

In May 2021, we polled more than 2,000 people across the U.S. about their food buying habits and self-sufficiency behaviors over the last year. The results were intriguing, providing insight into how the pandemic has impacted the way people view food, gardening, and their health. 

Most Americans Have Gardened During the Pandemic 

A study done by the National Gardening Association found that, under normal circumstances, roughly 1 in 3 households across the United States grow their own food. When we surveyed 2,000 Americans about their past pandemic year, we discovered a staggering 65% of respondents had at least attempted to grow their own produce. This incredible increase in interest demonstrates the value of having fresh produce on hand at all times. 

More Sustainability, Less Waste

According to the USDA, the average American loses roughly $371 a year to food waste. Whether it’s for economical or environmental reasons, people want to limit waste and make every dollar count. In fact, almost 1 in 3 survey participants said they would consider growing food at home in order to reduce waste. When you grow your own produce, you’re able to harvest what you need and save any extra greens for another day (whether that be the greens you grow or the greens you spend!). Growing at home also ensures that you have a direct food source, even if the grocery shelves are empty. 

Growing Greens To Save Some Green

The average American currently spends $45.25 on fresh fruits and vegetables each month. As the interest in growing food at home took off, word likely spread about how simple and cost-effective the hobby was. When asked about the motivating factors behind growing a garden, 4 in 10 respondents (39%) said saving money was a primary goal--perhaps to splurge on a sunny post-pandemic vacation. 

Prioritizing Mental & Physical Health Through Gardening 

Let’s face it, quarantining and isolation is enough to put anyone’s physical and mental well-being to the test. Not only that; when gyms are closed, it can be hard to find time to de-stress and focus on wellness. It’s no surprise that 62% of survey participants claimed starting a garden would improve their overall diet, while a staggering 71% believed it would benefit their mental health. With clean living being a primary mission at Tower Garden, statistics like these remind us that our gardens can positively impact the lives of others. 

Other Fun Facts

Our study uncovered an abundance of other fun, interesting facts about how the pandemic has impacted people’s gardening behaviors, well-being, and goals. Here are a handful of fascinating findings: 

  • 71% claimed tomatoes were at the top of their growing list.

  • 86% of gardeners eat the fruits of their labor.

  • 76% of people who gardened during the pandemic said it started as a hobby.

  • 7 in 10 respondents felt that gardening would give them better control of their food.

Discover more interesting findings from our recent study focused on food availability.

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