89% of Outdoor Enthusiasts to Increase Outdoor Participation Over Next Year, according to new findings from Winnebago Industries

Findings part of new initiative by Winnebago Industries to shed light on Outdoor Industry Trends and Consumer Behavior

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn., Nov. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO), a leading outdoor lifestyle product manufacturer, today unveiled findings from its first comprehensive consumer research initiative on outdoor recreation.

Despite fears that that a post-pandemic world might result in consumers withdrawing from outdoor activities they embraced out of practicality during pandemic lockdowns, the inaugural report found that future demand for outdoor recreation is strong, with nearly 90% of outdoors enthusiasts planning to participate more than or as much as they do now over the next six to twelve months. This follows rising participation over the past two years: those who participated in an outdoor activity increased 19% (60% to 79%) from 2020 to 2021*.

“Winnebago Industries is excited to roll out a new, concerted effort in sharing our insights into the health of the outdoor recreation industry. This initial report showcases how important exposure to the outdoors is for so many consumers,” said Michael Happe, president and chief executive officer. “The idea that outdoor interest would recede with loosening COVID-19 restrictions is false. We are seeing that the popularity of outdoor activities may continue to grow.”

The survey identified the primary reasons people are heading and staying outdoors, as well as their future expectations. Included are key findings.

Growth, Connection, Freedom

Outdoor enthusiasts have many reasons for participating outdoors, but the Winnebago Industries survey identified three central themes of growth, connection, and freedom as primary motivators for heading outdoors.


A perceived lack of skills is not likely to stop outdoor enthusiasts from trying a new activity as it offers an opportunity to grow: 50% of outdoor enthusiasts stated that challenging themselves is a primary reason they participate in outdoor activities.


The great outdoors offers a chance for individuals to connect with family and friends; 70% of outdoor enthusiasts stated that sharing experiences with others was a primary motivator in participating in outdoor activities. Between 2020 and 2022, there was an 22% increase in individuals who said outdoor activities are a great way to connect with family & friends*.


Being outdoors offers an opportunity to disconnect and enjoy a sense of freedom. 70% of outdoor enthusiasts stated that “escaping the everyday grind” and “feeling free and uncontained” are primary motivators for participating in outdoor activities.

The Next Generation Holds Different Expectations

Millennials (Gen Y) and Gen Z are engaging for different reasons than their older counterparts. Gen Y and Z are more likely than older generations to cite “stress relief” and “time for myself” as benefits that drew them to engage in the outdoors. Their number one ask of outdoor recreation manufacturers is to help identify and access campsites that offer “more privacy or peace and quiet.”

This accompanies a desire from Gen Y and Z to have a “concierge” level of engagement. When asked what outdoor recreation manufactures can do to make outdoor experiences better:

  • 69% of Gen Y and Z (vs. 58% overall) say “offer an app that guides you step by step while you are participating in the activity until you feel comfortable”
  • 53% of Gen Y and Z (vs 43% overall) say “offer curated RV or boat experiences (i.e., having a guide who helps with planning and logistics)”

“Younger generations have come to expect more around their entire outdoor experience. They seek ease and convenience when planning, so once they get to their destination or activity, they can realize the benefits of stress relief and enjoying nature sooner,” said Amber Holm, chief marketing officer. “We will continue to focus our efforts in the areas of consumer experience; the rollout of the Winnebago App is one recent example of our commitment in this area.”

Surveys were taken during July and August of 2022, as pandemic related restrictions were easing.

About Winnebago Industries

Winnebago Industries, Inc. is a leading North American manufacturer of outdoor lifestyle products under the Winnebago, Grand Design, Chris-Craft, Newmar and Barletta brands, which are used primarily in leisure travel and outdoor recreation activities. The Company builds quality motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth-wheel products, outboard and sterndrive powerboats and commercial community outreach vehicles. Winnebago Industries has multiple facilities in Iowa, Indiana, Minnesota and Florida. The Company's common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and traded under the symbol WGO. For access to Winnebago Industries' investor relations material or to add your name to an automatic email list for Company news releases, visit http://investor.wgo.net.


Investor Relations, Ray Posadas - ir@winnebagoind.com

Media, Amber Holm - media@winnebagoind.com

*Source: Winnebago Industries Spotlight Survey, July 2022