It’s not the kind of story we see in the news during challenging economies, but it’s a story familiar to those within the colored landscape mulch equipment industry:
“My mulch operation saved my business.”
“Colored mulch was the only thing that made my company any money this year.”
“Starting a colored mulch operation has been the best investment we’ve ever made, even with the recession.”
This kind of story, well-known to equipment manufacturers like Amerimulch & Rotochopper, demonstrates the resilience of the colored landscape mulch market, as well as the economic optimism that created the colored mulch industry and has allowed it to grow significantly over the last ten years.
The attitudes toward the economy that dominate news stories would suggest that colored landscape mulch would be severely suffering from the housing market downturn, wood fiber shortages, and many other factors. Currently, when people think of wood fiber markets, they are more likely to think of wood pellets, boiler fuel, and other biomass fuel products than landscape mulch, given the growing concern over climate change and energy costs. Yet the colored mulch market continues to offer significant opportunities for a wide range of companies, from international wood product companies to tree care companies with only three employees.
Colored mulch continues to be a vital market precisely because it offers many of the same benefits as biomass fuel, though in a less publicized way, answering directly to consumer demand for an economical, environmentally friendly product. For this reason, the colored mulch market has grown over the last five years despite—or perhaps in part because of—the challenging economy. As landscape companies frequently point out, colored mulch is an affordable way to add appeal to residential and commercial property. In recent months, many home owners, wary of large cosmetic investments, have turned to landscape mulch to enhance the look of their properties. Additionally, consumers like that colored mulch is an environmentally friendly landscape product, derived mostly from wood waste, rather than virgin wood fiber.
At Rotochopper, we see green marketability playing an increasing role in our customers’ day-to-day operations. Companies that find green solutions for their wood waste, like colored landscape mulch, are commonly using their recycling practices to not only create new profit columns but also to increase consumer and community support.
Yet the above reasons only partially account for the sustained growth of the colored mulch market. Colored mulch remains a great market opportunity for a diverse range of companies because of its adaptability to shifting demands. According to long range statistics gathered by Amerimulch, for instance, consumers originally were attracted to colored mulch for its vibrancy, with red as the most popular color. Over time, however, the more natural tones, brown and black, grew more popular as consumers noted the color holding properties of colored mulch, in contrast to natural mulch, which can quickly turn gray.
View the statistics on colored mulch markets gathered by Amerimulch.
The landscape mulch market has evolved significantly over the last 20 years. Of all the landscape products available, nothing has allowed landscape supply companies to keep up with changing demands like colored mulch. In short, colored mulch offers mulch producers the same benefits as consumers—the ability to match diverse needs. As market demands continue to shift, as demand for wood fiber continues to increase with the growth of biomass markets, the adaptability of colored mulch will continue to fuel its growth and vitality.