Survey Shows Consumers Bring Indoors Out

That’s the conclusion of a newly released research study that says consumers are entertaining outdoors more than ever, “and they’re doing it with style.”

According to the survey, conducted by the Port Washington, NY-based market research firm, The NPD Group, Inc., eight in 10 consumers surveyed prefer outdoor entertaining, weather permitting. The study also found that consumers are seeking a wider array of products for their outdoor-living environment, but often have difficulty finding those products in retail.

“The desire to recreate the indoor living experience outside is evident in the current ownership and the future purchase intent of outdoor entertaining products,” said NPD researchers, who released their study results in July.

Kitchen and bath product suppliers have increasingly been offering new products – including cabinetry, cooking equipment and refrigeration – in response to this trend. At the same time, a growing number of kitchen/bath dealers and designers are looking at marketing their design and profitable expertise to capitalize on the outdoor trend.

Informal Livimg

According to NPD, 84% of survey respondents said they enjoy entertaining outdoors. In fact, some 75% of those queried said, “It feels more laid back than formal entertaining.”

As more people entertain outdoors, they will also dress up the outdoors with items such as fireplaces and gazebos. Based on the survey, 23% of homeowners reported owning a firepit or outdoor fireplace, with another 14% planning to purchase one.
When asked to rate retailers’ efforts in offering a selection of outdoor entertaining products, a majority rated them good to fair.

“This may indicate retailers’ product selection is not entirely what consumers are looking for and spells opportunity for retailers and manufacturers,” commented Mark Delaney, director, home improvement for NPD.