The mulch industry has seen continuous growth over the past 20+ years, but 2020 has been a unique year in the industry with the Coronavirus pandemic. With many homeowners being home for an extended period of time, home improvement projects are on the rise, including outdoor landscaping projects.
Some of the businesses best suited for the mulch industry include tree service companies, sawmills, pallet shops, C&D recycling facilities, and green waste yards. Talking to local landscapers can help you determine the parameters of the market, the market size, and how far consumers are willing to drive to pick up the product. Businesses who have been successful in making the transition from one of these types of businesses have found that their mulch business is more lucrative and less labor intensive than their core business was.
Trends continue to change within the industry, including geographically, so it is important to stay in tune with your customers’ demands. Colors are always changing. Traditionally the East coast, has sold more red mulch, but recently we’ve seen more brown and black mulch sold into these markets. The majority of the northern West coast has been using black mulch, and they’re now selling more brown than ever; red has started to take off as well. The southern West coast has usually sold more brown and golds, but now more black is being sold into this region. Understanding the trends and staying ahead of demand is a key to successfully meeting the needs of mulch customers.
Fiber Size Trends
Trends in fiber size has also evolved over time. Twenty years ago, mulch was a large unscreened 4” minus product and has been slowly trending to a smaller product over the years with 1/4”-3/8” fines screened out. Screening out the fines allows you to get multiple end products with less grinding and handling. Typically, the East coast producers have not screened fines while this is more popular on the West coast. Changing markets lends itself to additional opportunities as new requests and options come to market.
There appears to be no slowing in the future for colored mulch. There are opportunities on both the commercial and direct to consumer side of the business. Large box stores have been increasing their purchasing of colored mulch products and creating the buzz for bulk and retail sales. Rotochopper is here to help as you determine the opportunities and solutions for your business. Rotochopper horizontal grinders provide increased business versatility and open up opportunities for other feedstocks and end products.