Cloughton, Carol (2014) Trend methodology and its application in a marketing context: horticulture as an emerging trend and its long-term potential in the retail industry. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

There has been an increase in the number of individuals adopting the practice of gardening in the UK. Literature suggests that the act of gardening and interaction with the natural environment offer individuals the opportunity to escape the stresses of contemporary life, generate restorative qualities and contribute the overall well-being of individuals. However, the current literature does not adequately address the issue of identifying trends, the changing attitudes and behaviours of consumers, and applying them in a marketing context. This research addresses the issue by looking at current methodologies for identifying trend and applying elements to the emerging trend in horticulture and its potential application in a retail environment. A case study analysis was conducted and five key themes of escapism, well-being, security, ownership and community emerged and were used to establish that the trend in horticulture was in fact a long-term trend and recommendations were suggested for retailers to implement into their future strategies. In conclusion, this research, by closely examining current methodologies for trend identification in marketing, also sheds new light on this neglected area and proposes that additional research is required to establish a more effective methodology for identifying contemporary social phenomena for use in a marketing context.

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