The American Floral Endowment (AFE) and researchers from the University of Florida (UF) present compelling evidence about just how enticing and alluring flower fragrance is to consumers, among other scintillating findings, in three new consumer preference studies.
In Identifying Consumer Preferences for Essential Elements of a Flower Product, researchers aim for a better understanding of what flower buyers really want — color, shape, size, fragrance, etc.— to better meet consumer demands and increase sales, and the results show that consumers overwhelmingly desire fragrance.
“This study allows the industry to gain a better understanding of what consumers value in a floral product and thereby provides the tools necessary to effectively target consumer demands,” says David Clark, professor of environmental horticulture and director of the plant innovation program at UF. “The industry needs to offer a product consumers want to increase consumer purchases and sales.”
The researchers examined two study groups: a group of 295 subjects of mixed genders and four ethnicities, most age 40 or older, and a UF undergraduate introduction to plants class with 336 students, the majority of whom were white females, ages 18 to 24.
Both groups agreed they find fragrance of top importance when purchasing flowers. However, the first group was most specifically interested in “the subtle fragrance of a traditional rose,” while the student group preferred flowers that smell “fresh with a hint of citrus.”
Flower color was second most important to both groups, and both preferred “explosive, vibrant red petals” and showed the least interest in pastels.
Both expressed overall low interest about where they specifically purchased flowers, with the exception of the student group, who gave a high ranking to flowers “picked fresh from a local garden.”
Clark says he believes input from consumers is vital if the industry is to stay abreast of an ever-changing consumer base. He proposes that marketing a new “fragrant flower line” may attract more customers and be the key for increasing sales and profit.
Read the detailed full report here, along with the two additional AFE-funded postproduction research reports from UF: