As More U.S. Consumers Take Road Trips this Summer, Sales of Camping-Related Products Increase, NPD Group Reports

As More U.S. Consumers Take Road Trips this Summer, Sales of Camping-Related Products Increase, NPD Group Reports

More Americans are hitting the road this summer, and as they prepare for their family vacations and outdoor adventures, sales of outdoor and camping-related products within the $19 billion industry are on the rise, according to global information company The NPD Group.

“Gas prices have reached their lowest level in over a decade, and as a result U.S. consumers are more motivated to take road trips and seek adventure this summer. This is providing a boost to many aspects of the economy, including the outdoor and sporting goods markets,” said Matt Powell, vice president and sports industry analyst, The NPD Group. “It’s not only lower gas prices, but also a shift in the consumer mindset toward experiential spending that has made road tripping appealing to more consumers.”

Camping-related product categories showing the most relevant and significant increases in the 12 months ending May 2016 (June’15-May’16) versus the prior time period include coolers, cargo rack parts, tents and tent accessories, camp hammocks, recreation sleeping pads/mattresses, and travel packs, among others. Looking at coolers, the top-growing product, it is the higher-priced items that are driving the trend, with average selling price in the realm of $100+. For the car ride, components including cargo rack parts and baskets are experiencing an uptick in sales. In addition, sales of service products which include items such as bowls, nesting cups, wine glasses, and shot glass sets grew 12 percent, returning to growth after a decline the previous year.

“Consumers today, especially Millennials, are investing in experiences more so than purely material items. They seek products that offer, and are part of, an experience – a critical trend for retailers and manufacturers to keep in mind as they seek unique ways to market their products. An activity like camping fits in nicely with this attitude, and has much to do with its recent success,” said Powell. “It will be interesting to see what products manufacturers will showcase during the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market show, and how they emphasize this consumer value.”

Source: The NPD Group, Inc. / Retail Tracking Service, Outdoor Industry View, 12 months ending May 2016

The information from the Outdoor Industry View is collected from the athletic specialty, sporting goods, outdoor specialty, and sport specialty e-commerce channels.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
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