April 29, 2011
How Appealing Are Biodegradable Containers?
One of the most widely discussed topics in the floriculture industry stemming from consumers exhibiting greater degrees of environmental awareness is the issue of environmental sustainability. The sustainability movement has led to a desire for products that not only solve the needs of consumers, but are also produced and marketed using sustainable production and business practices. Consumers increasingly place a greater emphasis on product packaging, and the emphasis has carried over to the greenhouse and floral sectors in the form of biodegradable pots. Although various forms of eco-friendly pots have been available for several years, their marketing appeal has been limited. But with the recent availability of more attractive biodegradable plant containers, a renewed interest in their suitability in the floriculture sector and their consumer acceptance has emerged. The Study The objective of our study, funded by the American Floral Endowment and the Horticultural Research Institute, was to determine the […]
April 25, 2011
Consumer Interest In ‘Green’ Plants
The ornamental plant industry consists of a few large- and many medium- and small-scale growers. In recent years, the intense competition from large domestic and international growers has forced medium- and small-scale farmers to identify and explore new niche markets for their products through value-added marketing. Discovering a profitable niche market is a complicated task because consumer demand is highly diversified. Organically grown and locally grown food products have become increasingly popular in recent years. There is a belief that the demand for organic and sustainable floral products is increasing in the United States due to an emerging consumer segment focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living and social justice. Our research focused on two questions: 1) Are some consumers more interested in ornamentals, vegetable transplants and herbs produced in sustainable ways than conventionally grown plants? and 2) Do some consumers have different levels of interest […]
March 31, 2011
The Value Of Biodegradable Containers
What drives a consumer to purchase one plant over another? Logical factors include plant type, need and price. But as more consumers begin to take note of environmental impacts associated with their households and the products they buy, the need to personify your product as meeting this “green” standard is essential. There are several ways firms can capitalize on this transition consumers are making to being “green,” including implementing new production techniques, lowering carbon footprint within your operation or offering plants in a more environmentally sustainable potting container. Unlike new production techniques and lowering carbon footprint, introducing biodegradable containers has the potential to offer a relatively easy and cost-effective means to target the “environmental consumer.” The potential for new biodegradable potting containers is good. In a recent study by Hall et al. (2010), approximately 84 percent of consumers valued a biodegradable potting container to the traditional plastic pot. Furthermore, four […]
February 18, 2011
On Sustainability: No Two Consumers Are Alike
Savvy marketers rely on the principles of customer segmentation and product targeting to more efficiently allocate scarce resources and effectively reach groups of consumers with similar preferences or demands. It would appear as though many people have jumped on the eco-train, but to what extent have people who purchased plants, many of them gardeners, adopted eco-practices like recycling and composting? Previous research shows some consumers are willing to pay a premium price for green products and share attitudes that are favorable toward the environment. Premium-priced products are assumed to be more profitable, and often are. Still, relatively little is known about gardeners and their ecological attitudes, practices or behaviors. Our objective was to identify and profile consumer segments with regard to their gardening purchases. Are gardeners more eco-friendly? We sought to determine whether there were differences in their eco-friendly attitudes and behaviors, such as recycling. Our underlying belief was that […]
January 19, 2011
What Are Growers Doing About Sustainability?
Consumer and market interest in green, environmentally friendly, organic, local and sustainable products has encouraged much discussion and debate about sustainable production practices and certification in the commercial floriculture industry. Many ask: “What is sustainable production and why should I become certified?” Depending on who you ask, you will get a variety of opinions and answers. Broadly defined, the goal of sustainable production is to reduce environmental degradation; maintain, enhance agricultural productivity and profitability; promote economic viability; conserve resources and energy; and maintain stable communities and quality of life. As we all know, the floriculture industry is not alone when it comes to selling ornamental plants. It is part of the collective $148 billion green industry that includes nursery and greenhouse producers and landscape service providers, as well as wholesale and retail distributors. Therefore, it is important for us to determine what the entire green industry is doing in terms […]
December 22, 2010
Biodegradable Containers: How Appealing Are They?
One of the most widely discussed topics in the floriculture industry stemming from consumers exhibiting greater degrees of environmental awareness is the issue of environmental sustainability. The sustainability movement has led to a desire for products that not only solve the needs of consumers, but are also produced and marketed using sustainable production and business practices. Consumers increasingly place a greater emphasis on product packaging, and the emphasis has carried over to the greenhouse and floral sectors in the form of biodegradable pots. Although various forms of eco-friendly pots have been available for several years, their marketing appeal has been limited. But with the recent availability of more attractive biodegradable plant container. The Study The objective of our study, funded by the American Floral Endowment and the Horticultural Research Institute, was to determine the characteristics of biodegradable pots that consumers deem most desirable, and to solicit their willingness to pay […]
September 16, 2009
Containers: Paper Or Plastic?
Sustainability has become a commonly discussed topic within the floriculture industry. Few studies, however, have quantified whether conversion to a sustainable production practice is a worthy investment. Therefore, we conducted a case study for a medium-sized Indiana commercial greenhouse interested in substituting plastic 4.5-inch pots with Ellepots for bedding plants. Ellepots are “pots” made from degradable non-woven paper that wraps around the growing media and can be planted directly into the soil. To determine if the proposed practice was a worthy investment, a net present value (NPV) and financial feasibility analysis was conducted. Net present value is defined as the discounted sum of the projected series of net cash flows for an investment, including the initial investment and the terminal value of the investment at the end of the planning horizon. NPV can be used as a strategic planning tool to determine the worthiness of a new investment. For this […]
July 24, 2009
Consumer Perceptions Of Sustainably Produced Poinsettias
Greenhouse growers across the United States continuously hear the word “sustainability” and often speculate whether this is another marketing program or a consumer-driven initiative that must be put into practice for their continued economic success in a very competitive environment. Most growers, however, have not heard of Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS). Have you? This is an emerging market segment that is focused on health and fitness, the environment, personal development, sustainable living and social justice. The LOHAS market represents 41 million people in the United States who spend $209 billion annually on socially and environmentally responsible products. If this segment of the population is purchasing environmentally friendly products, are they interested in locally, organically or sustainably produced poinsettias? Figure 1. This grower promotes crops as locally grown. The Research Previous Purdue research has shown 96 percent of greenhouse growers had heard of sustainable floriculture and the majority viewed […]
February 27, 2017
State of the Industry Webinar Available for On-Demand V…
The half-hour presentation includes an analysis of Greenhouse Grower’s 2017 State of the Industry survey, along with insights from horticulture industry leaders.
February 27, 2017
Tips for General Combination and Hanging Basket Product…
Bell Nursery’s Head Grower Tom Wheeler provides his recipe for success when growing premium combos that put on a show at retail.
February 26, 2017
AgBiome Will Enter the Ornamentals Market With a New Bi…
AgBiome, a young company with teammates steeped in decades of experience in the crop protection world, sees an opportunity to bring products to market that fill the existing gaps in plant protection. The company has partnered with SePRO to market and distribute Zio, a biological fungicide expecting EPA registration this spring.
February 24, 2017
AmericanHort Names New Board Members and Officers for 2…
The new board members are Steve Castorani of North Creek Nurseries, Tom Hughes of Hughes Nursery and Landscaping, and Cole Mangum of Bell Nursery.
February 22, 2017
Emerging Industry Leaders Earn Business Management Cert…
Dr. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair for International Floriculture at Texas A&M University, recently announced the graduation of the fourth cohort of the elite Executive Academy for Growth & Leadership (EAGL) program for nursery and greenhouse growers.
February 21, 2017
Learn How Drones Could Eventually Replace Bees in Polli…
Researchers in Japan are using the principle of cross-pollination in bees to make a drone that could potentially transport pollen between flowers.
February 21, 2017
Ian Baldwin: 2017 is Off to a Strong Start For Plant Re…
Many garden retailers are telling garden retail consultant Ian Baldwin that sales and the consumer’s attitude toward spending have been very strong the last two months.
February 20, 2017
5 New Varieties Shaking Up the Poinsettia Tradition
With poinsettias trending toward non-traditional colors, growers may find new opportunities to spread sales beyond the winter holidays. Here are five of the newest euphorbia varieties to hit the market that may play a role in redefining the future of the poinsettia market.
February 17, 2017
How to Keep Customers Coming Back With Top-Notch Servic…
A recent article on Forbes.com outlines seven ways organizations can take their customer service from good to great and beyond.
February 17, 2017
Proven Winners Makes Improvements to Its Retailer Certi…
Understanding the challenges of training new and seasonal staff at independent garden centers, Proven Winners says it is working to equip managers with tools to prepare their employees to better handle customers’ questions and boost their confidence in selling plants this season.
February 17, 2017
Industry Veteran Tom Foley Discusses His New Role as Vi…
Foley, a greenhouse industry veteran who was most recently with EuroAmerican Propagators, will be responsible for North American sales of WaterPulse’s patent-pending capillary mats and associated irrigation systems to nurseries and growers.
February 17, 2017
Dan and Jerry’s Greenhouse Buys Iowa-Based DeJong Green…
The acquisition will allow Dan and Jerry’s, a bedding plant grower headquartered in Minnesota, to extend its seasonal product offerings and service a new customer base with local distribution.