I have reached out to many segments of the floral industry from growers to wholesaler to get some feedback on how this holiday shaped up.
The most common answer I heard was that overall quality was very good and that makes sense since the crops came later than planned in South America. As fast as flowers were harvested they traveled through the system and were not stored. This is great for the industry from a consumer perspective since the average consumer likely received longer lasting flowers.
My very informal survey, is just that, so I am sure experiences differ, but I would say the industry got a B grade.
Here is what some Growers had to say:
“2016 was a difficult year for the company. Important investments in terms of infrastructural were made and we were still carrying the lags of more tan 10 years of the revaluation of the Colombian peso. At the same time, we were impacted by the effects of ” El Niño ” which caused a poor quality harvest for V-Day 2016.
“In order to face the industry challenges new Green Houses were built, 20 new varieties of roses were planted and released and a state of the art post harvest was opened. Fortunate, the stars aligned in our favor and the pay back arrived considering that flowers came right on time, healthy and clean foliage, nice head size and a very bright color. Different from other years there was a good shipping window, logistics worked out fine and the market was never flooded with flowers, there was a stable and a constant demand at all times.”
Jose Restrepo General Manager of Ayura Pride / Eclipse Flowers.
“Our market was excellent in general, a little shy on colors. We could have sold more reds if we had them.”
Esteban Chiriboga, General Manager, Ecoroses
“We had a great Valentine’s, we were up over last year, with a lot of demand for tulips and iris.”
Lane DeVries of the Sun Valley Floral Group.
“I must say that in general terms it was a very good V-Day. A bit strange but good. Strange because up to January 5 we had almost no confirmations, and field seem to be coming early. Something happened, don’t understand what, and from zero we ended oversold and from being early we ended a bit late. I think that the most important thing is that no one ended being early so price were strong. And I believe most of wholesalers ended with empty coolers so demand has kept in good levels.”
Xavier Beltran, Florecal
“Women don’t want red roses, oriental lilies are what moves them”.
Anyway, we are having a good holiday, it’s about time! Even though it has rained 8 inches in the last 2 weeks our production came in on time and we finally got our computer system to forecast production and sales so we are having a smooth holiday. “
Robert Kitayama. KB Farms.
“According to our sales history, this was our best Valentine’s in the past five years and we thank our supportive clients and all the hard working members of “Team Gardens. Without all of you, it wouldn’t have happened.”
Collen Taber, Gardens America
“Valentine’s is a day where millions around the world show their love to others with roses, chocolates, etc. We are proud to be part of this shipping our product all over the world.
The fact that Valentine’s day falls in a week day, as this year, it’s always good, the demand for roses its much higher, flower growers prepared for this event with months anticipation hopping for the weather to be a good partner.
As a company we commit with our clients with quality product and quantity which we fulfilled every year, this year was not different.”
Monica Madera, Valle Verde
Wholesalers had this to say:
“Good holiday overall for DVflora in the Northeast to our retail customers.
Quality Overall Good, but as in any holiday it is very difficult to have the non holiday quality and grade size during timed production after the pinch.
Product was tight at beginning of holiday due to later than expected production in Colombia, but became more available on the week before the holiday.
The Airline we use performed well, however as a Wholesalers we need to all educate our customers that freight surcharges really impact the cost of flowers at holiday periods as the airlines have to put on extra high cost routes to carry the volume.
The snow storms and general inclement weather towards the end of the holiday in the New England regions did impact events to a degree for sure.”
“Good Holiday. Weather excellent. Customers sold out. Quality of flowers good. “
Tom Figueroa, Nordile
“Our holiday was good. I’d give it an A-. We were up in sales for the 14 days. All stores ended pretty clean.
It was definitely last minute as yesterday was a big sales day with orders coming in until mid afternoon. Generally our phones stop ringing for the most part after the late deliveries leave at 10am.
Product quality was excellent with very few credits. No big problems with logistics and the weather”
Kevin Priest, VP CPF
What I am sorely lacking here, in my holiday evaluation, are comments from the Retail segment of the industry from the mass market to online sales and specifically Brick and Mortar Retailers. Therefore I invite those of you in the retail end of this business to share your results with us. Send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org; call me 786-255-3335 or register at flowersandcents.com and post your comments. I will quote you if you approve me to do so or I will just share your comments in a follow up article.
Thank to all for reading and I hope Mothers Day will be as exciting.