Johnsons Lawn Seed, the UK’s oldest lawn seed brand, is today reporting healthy sales of two of its most iconic consumer brands, despite the nationwide lockdown that gripped the garden trade during peak season.
Sales of the company’s leading Tuffgrass and Quick Lawn brands have witnessed a year-to-date increase of 35% and 30% respectively, with performance driven by innovation which saw both lines refreshed for 2020 to incorporate the latest seed technology.
Johnsons Lawn Seed’s Guy Jenkins said: “Performance of the Tuffgrass and Quick Lawn brands has been outstanding, despite the unprecedented hurdles that the garden industry had to overcome this season. The sales figures speak for themselves: consumer-focused innovation has the potential to drive lawncare category sales even in the most challenging of circumstances. There is enormous pent-up demand for gardening across the UK, and the sunniest spring on record, combined with a warm start to the season, has fuelled consumers’ desire to own a lawns that will be the focal point of family activity during the enforced staycations that are a reality of this summer.”
After a strong pre-season sell-in to the retail trade for Johnsons Lawn Seed, and Neudorff’s portfolio of environmentally conscious gardening products that are now exclusively distributed by the company, Johnsons is extending its thanks to trade organisations such as the HTA and GIMA, which worked tirelessly to lobby for the safe re-opening of garden centres during the Covid-19 lockdown. The campaign saw the plight of the horticulture industry raise up the national news agenda and succeeded in persuading the government to allow garden centres to re-open well in advance of High Street retail.
Guy added: “Efforts made by garden retailers to reinvent their business models during lockdown, including the launch of online ordering and home-delivery services, remain thoroughly appreciated by the supply chain. We are also hugely grateful for the incredible work carried out during the nationwide shut down that saw garden retailers work tirelessly to adapt store layouts, so that strict social distancing measures could be adhered to, allowing safe reopening and capturing the remainder of the peak spring sales season.”
Johnsons Lawn Seed, which is celebrating its 200th anniversary during 2020, is urging stockists to replenish lawncare categories as a priority, ahead of high demand anticipated in the wake of the driest May on record since 1896. The unseasonably dry conditions, which saw little rain fall across much of the UK during April and May, left lawns parched early in the season, which consumers will be seeking to reinvigorate and repair.
Innovative lawncare essentials to stock
Leading the way in innovation for 2020 is new Tuffgrass with Dog Patch Resistance. A UK first, Tuffgrass now contains naturally tolerant grass species that won’t turn yellow when dogs use lawns as their toilet – finally solving a problem that has blighted consumers’ lawns for decades.
Ideal for staycation summers, the scientifically proven mix is tough enough to stand up to wear and tear as families and their pets holiday at home. It is suitable for sowing new lawns, overseeding, fixing patches and creating play areas. With dry spells set to become commonplace due to climate change, Tuffgrass offers excellent drought resistance and has been proven to also stand up to low temperatures and snow.
Another key launch to drive sales growth this year is child and pet-friendly Quick Lawn with Accelerator-treated seed. The new Accelerator treatment – which spurs seeds into growth faster by speeding up the absorption of water and directing bio stimulants in a smart coating into the seed – meets consumer demand for rapidly germinating lawn seed that thrives in dry conditions. Quick Lawn requires just a third of the amount of water that’s usually needed for lawn establishment, resulting in 38% more grass within the first seven days, compared to non-coated seed.
Growth in the number of consumers looking to garden organically, combined with lawns needing repair after the dry spring and summer staycations, make stocking Johnsons’ Super Smart Lawn Feed essential. The 100% organic, three-in-one formulation, contains a mix of beneficial bacteria that feed lawns, micronutrients to enhance a lawn’s lush green appearance, and mycorrhizae that can increase the root system of grass by up to 150%. It can be applied between February and September, apart from during drought or freezing conditions, giving the fertiliser a long season of consumer appeal.