Well, here is some overdue good news: The hot tub industry has experienced the first back-to-back double-digit increase in sales in 15 years. And, in fact, after nearly eight straight years of downturns and lethargy, the spa business has managed four consecutive growth years.
What follows is a closer look at the composition of today’s spa owners.
It's interesting to compare some of the characteristics that depict the base of hot tub owners across the country.
Average age is largely unchanged. We can see that the average age of hot tub owners is pretty much the same over the past ten years or so, slightly over 53 today.
Household income has increased. Average household income, in constant 2016 dollars, shows some increase over the past ten years. In general, hot tub owners tend to be upscale: the national average falls within the 85th percentile for total household income.
Nearly one in five have previously owned a hot tub. Moreover, there is a clear geographic trend associated with previous hot tub ownership with distinct tendencies in the Northeast and the Pacific states. The national average is 18.4 percent.
Hot tub average age is only slightly up. Because the net total installed base of hot tubs in the US over the past ten years has increased less than 1 percent, it would stand to reason that the average age of a hot tub has remained pretty much unchanged. There is essentially equilibrium in the spa replacement rate.
There is little correlation between household income and average hot tub size. If we accept hot tub size (seating capacity) as a proxy for value, we might think that there would be a relationship between that metric and the average household income of the owner. But when evaluated nationally by state, there doesn’t seem to be a significant relationship.
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On balance, there has not been a significant shift in the overall composition of the base of hot tub owners across the country. This kind of stability is good with regard to media planning and the development of outreach campaigns to the consumer.
Also, having a 10-year baseline of key fundamentals provides a benchmark from which to evaluate future campaigns. For example, one strategy is to aim for a younger demographic, both through messaging and sales promotion (such as displaying hot tubs at events targeted toward younger audiences). Successes based on that approach should begin to appear in future demographic analyses.
Pkdata is an Atlanta market research firm that has tracked the residential and commercial pool and spa industry since 1992. To date the firm has completed over 400 studies among consumers, manufacturers, dealers, builders and service companies. Its annual industry statistics reports are widely used as planning tools by principal stakeholders globally.