As supply is down and demand is up, Christmas trees are becoming more expensive.
Millennials have been blamed for killing mayonnaise, raisins, diamonds, home ownership, and, most recently, canned tuna. But one sector is actually thanking millennials for their support: the Christmas tree industry. While the number of Americans who buy artificial Christmas trees has reportedly jumped by 30 percent since 1992, real trees are having a resurgence, and millennials apparently deserve some of the credit.
The National Christmas Tree Association, which this year launched a million-dollar campaign to highlight the benefits of real Christmas trees, attributes a 17 percent rise in the price of real trees from 2015 to 2017 in part to eco-conscious young adults, who may appreciate the smaller environmental footprint and “buy local” ethos of live trees. Still, both real trees and their PVC rivals hold their own appeal for both economic and environmental concerns.
The kind of tree customers buy depends on everything from how much cash they’re willing to part with during the holidays to whether they have the time to care for living trees. And misconceptions have long played a role in Christmas tree consumption, particularly the false idea that plastic trees spare real trees from being chopped down. As consumers become more environmentally savvy and more educated about Christmas trees generally, their preference in trees may shift.
A generational divide may explain why artificial Christmas trees gradually became more popular in the 1990s and the aughts, and why real ones are slowly enjoying a revival. According to Square, Inc., the financial services company partnering with the NCTA on its “Keep it Real” campaign, baby boomers stopped buying holiday firs and pines once their millennial kids grew up. But now that millennials are adults and buying trees for themselves, they lean toward the real Christmas trees of their childhoods partly because of nostalgia and partly because they are concerned for the earth, the NCTA posits.
Many consumers believed for years that PVC trees were more environmentally friendly than genuine trees.

Continue reading...