Hunter Boyce | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Inflation has struck again, and this time it’s jacking up tree prices for the holiday season.
According to a September report from the Real Christmas Tree Board, 2022′s Christmas tree market will look much like last years.
“The real Christmas tree industry met demand last year and it will meet demand this year,” Marsha Gray, executive director of the Real Christmas Tree Board, said in the report. “This is essentially a year without surprises.
“Our annual consumer survey showed that 86% of real Christmas tree buyers said they had no problems finding a place nearby to buy their tree last year. And 87% told us they found the tree they wanted at the first place they looked. We expect this year to be no different. The grower survey tells us demand is healthy. Retailers see steady consumer interest in real Christmas trees and right now supply is pretty well matched to that interest. The majority – 67% of the wholesalers we talked to – said they expect to sell all the trees they plan to harvest this year. In terms of volume, more than half – 55% – said they expect to sell about the same amount of real Christmas trees as they did last year. The balance was divided: Some expect to sell more, some less.”
While the industry group does not predict any inventory shortages, prices are expected to be higher due to increased input costs among wholesale growers.
Of the 55 wholesale growers surveyed by the Real Christmas Tree Board, which represent an estimated 66% of the country’s real Christmas tree market, over a third said they are experiencing 11% to 15% increases in costs. Over a quarter of those surveyed said they are experiencing 16% to 20% in cost increases. Another 10% of wholesale growers said their costs have increased by even more.
“There are no plot twists in the real Christmas tree story this year,” Gray said. “Just the steady hand of professional growers bringing joy to consumers and business savvy to the marketplace.
“While our grower survey tells us wholesale prices are likely to be higher for real Christmas trees this year, our consumer survey tells us people expected as much. The good news is fans of real Christmas trees say they believe the trees are worth the price and they are willing to pay more this year if necessary to get one – and that’s not a surprise either.”