Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Fads are short-lived, while trends mark long-term changes in our buying habits. Letís look at some trends in the sale and use of flowers in America.
A study found that the number of stems sold during a five year period hadnít changed that much. This shows that America still lags far behind Europeans in their flower purchases.
On the other hand, we are more willing to pay higher prices for what we do buy when the product has extra features that we want.
Some kinds of flowers will always be staples. Take daisies, for example. These still remain a favorite among American consumers. For the most part, these are imported from Latin America and elsewhere. On the other hand, the more exotic flowers are gaining popularity as well. So, this gives us more choices than ever before.
The sky is the limit when it comes to color in floral design. Green has really come into its own in recent years. With plant breeders creating all sorts of new varieties, there are plants with green or nearly green flowers.
In addition, greens as a floral material are becoming even more important. Cut foliage as a category now includes a wider range of materials, such as herbs, conifer stems, and grasses. Herbs have become especially popular for weddings.
Overall, spending has increased tremendously in the long-term. According to an article in the National Geographic magazine, on the whole Americans spend about four times as much now on flowers and plants as they did a generation ago.
One study found that cut flowers made up nearly 1/3 of the plant/flower purchases. This is more than houseplants, which was 23%. Many of these purchases were for calendar events, such as holidays.
Reasons for Purchase
In Europe, consumers donít need a special occasion in order to buy flowers. But, in America we havenít yet reached that point. A study found that 86% of the cut flower purchases were for non-holiday special occasions, such as birthdays.
In America, it continues to be women for the most part. They make up the bulk of the flower purchases. Age was a factor for those over 55 bought twice as often. Men tend to make most of their flower purchases during holidays.
Where We Buy
There are more sources of flowers than ever before, including websites. Whereas people used to buy exclusively from retail flower shops, supermarkets with large floral departments now get a larger share of the sales.
In addition, consumers are really interested in buying direct from flower growers. This explains the unprecedented popularity of farmersí stands, farmersí markets, and the like. In some respects, there is a mystique about field-grown flowers. These are seen as more romantic and nostalgic. We donít seem to care whether the field-grown is as perfect as the roses grown in greenhouses because of the personal touch involved.
Given too many choices, the consumer can get confused. Yet, it seems that we sometimes want a wider selection. Take cut rose stems, for example. Most are a standard length. Yet, people are interested in buying ones that are either shorter or longer.