In 2009, Poinsettias Persevered

In 2009, Poinsettias Persevered

Doubts about consumer spending during the holidays were understandable, but growers pulled through yet another poinsettia season in 2009 that can be described as good for many, great for some and better than most anticipated.

As one Midwestern grower serving independent garden centers put it: “The 2009 poinsettia market was very busy. We saw excellent sell-through with wholesale clients and in our retail stores. Despite the economic worries, people were still purchasing poinsettias.”

The majority of growers would agree with all or most of that sentiment. Of the 100-plus poinsettia growers we surveyed earlier this year, nearly half report sales increases over 2008. More than one-quarter report at least maintaining their 2008 sales in ’09, and less than one-quarter say they experienced sales decreases with poinsettias.

What else did growers say about poinsettia season? We reveal highlights from our 2010 Poinsettia Survey and share production and sales data we gathered in the paragraphs ahead.

Colors & Varieties

To give you an idea who we surveyed, more than 70 percent of respondents have been growing poinsettias at least 20 years, nearly two-thirds are located in either the Midwest or Northeast, and the primary customer of the majority is either independent garden centers or their own retail shop.

Growers are still purchasing their cuttings from the four major poinsettia breeders (Dömmen, Paul Ecke Ranch, Selecta First Class and Syngenta Flowers), but nearly all of them (95 percent) are at least purchasing some cuttings from Ecke Ranch.

It’s no surprise, then, that the top-selling red and novelty poinsettias for 2009 were Ecke Ranch’s. ‘Prestige’ was the top-selling red for 58 percent of growers, and ‘Freedom Red’ (13 percent) followed right behind.

The top-selling novelty, according to growers, was ‘Ice Punch,’ which 15 percent say was their best seller of 2009. Syngenta’s ‘Sonora White Glitter’ and ‘Cortez Burgundy’ were the next-best sellers.

As for colors, red is still the overwhelmingly preferred choice. We averaged the number of poinsettias being produced by color and found 74 percent are red. White (8 percent) is the second-most-produced color, followed by pink (5 percent), marble (4 percent) and other colors.

One grower we surveyed reports 30 percent of his production is whites. Another grower reports 30 percent of his production is pinks. Most growers, however, are still dabbling with the non-reds.

Pricing

A knock on poinsettias, some growers will argue, is the wholesale and retail prices received for them. We asked growers about their prices on five different pot sizes (Figures 1 and 2), and then compared those figures to the prices growers received 10 years ago. In many cases, we found average prices have not increased over the years as you might expect–especially considering inflation, higher input costs and other developments between 1999 and 2009.

The most significant find was the average wholesale price received for 8-inch poinsettias: Growers today are receiving $3.29 less for every 8-inch poinsettia than they were in 1999. Retail prices for 8-inch are slightly better today ($22.65) than they were a decade ago ($21.60). Today’s prices don’t necessarily indicate growers aren’t turning profits on 8-inch–although increasing margins would suggest they’re having more success with other sizes.

Ten-inch poinsettias are one such size. Wholesale prices received for 10-inch are 29 percent higher than they were 10 years ago. Likewise, 10-inch poinsettias are selling at retail for 30 percent more today than they were at the turn of the century.

Growers are also receiving better wholesale prices today on smaller sizes than they were in 1999, but retail numbers are down slightly with 4.5- and 6-inch and only up slightly with 6.5-inch. The lowest wholesale price reported this year on 4.5-inch poinsettias was $1, and the lowest 6- and 6.5-inch wholesale prices reported were $3. Twenty-eight dollars was the best wholesale figure received for 8-inch, and $40 was the best for 10-inch. The highest retail price reported for 10-inch, meanwhile, was $65.

“Retail customers are willing to pay for better quality and size, but mass merchandisers are resistant to stock a higher price point poinsettia,” says a Western grower.

Challenges

Poinsettias are a challenging crop because there are so many obstacles growers must overcome before their products reach retail benches. Managing greenhouse temperatures, controlling height and proper media and fertilization all keep growers busy late in the year. But the poinsettia grower’s biggest challenges in 2009 were pricing, competition and marketing.

More than one-third of growers listed pricing as their biggest poinsettia obstacle,  and 13 percent of growers respectively marked competition or marketing as their No. 1 obstacle.

“With places like Lowe’s and Walmart selling 6-inch pots for $3.95, we can’t compete,” says a Southeast grower serving his own retail shop.

Markets growers listed as showing or continuing to show promise were fundraisers, churches, schools, doctor’s offices, pharmacies and larger businesses. Thinking out of the box is another way to overcome challenges and reel in high prices. Peace Tree Farm’s Christmas Tree Poinsettia (PeaceTreeFarm.com) is a case in point.

Impression

Overall, poinsettia season was above average. When we asked growers to rate the season on a scale of 1 to 10, they gave it a 6.34. The rating isn’t as high as the one respondents gave the 1999 season (8.10), but growers are leaving the door open for optimism and anticipating poinsettia opportunities in 2010.

Leave a Reply

More From Finance/Operations...
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means For Greenhouse Growers

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More
Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president of AmericanHort - Feature image

October 25, 2016

Contribute To HRI To Help Honor Industry Advocate Craig Regelbrugge

In honor of Craig Regelbrugge's extraordinary contributions to the horticultural industry, AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Initiative created a special HRI endowment fund in his name: "The Craig Regelbrugge - Advocates for Horticulture Fund."

Read More
Latest Stories
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means F…

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More
Craig Regelbrugge, senior vice president of AmericanHort - Feature image

October 25, 2016

Contribute To HRI To Help Honor Industry Advocate Craig…

In honor of Craig Regelbrugge's extraordinary contributions to the horticultural industry, AmericanHort and the Horticultural Research Initiative created a special HRI endowment fund in his name: "The Craig Regelbrugge - Advocates for Horticulture Fund."

Read More
Lucas Greenhouses Shipping

October 6, 2016

Greenhouse Shipping Costs Down, But Concerns Remain

Lower gas prices have led to lower shipping costs for some growers, but many continue to seek out ways to become more efficient.

Read More
Pansy ‘Cool Wave Blue Skies’ (Wave)

September 20, 2016

PanAmerican Seed Settles Alleged Trade Sanction Violati…

PanAmerican Seed, a division of Ball Horticultural Co., has been charged with violating trade sanctions to Iran over a number of years. According to a release from the U.S. Treasury department, PanAmerican Seed made 48 indirect sales of seeds to two Iranian distributors. The company shipped the seed to consignees based in countries in Europe and the Middle East. PanAmerican Seed’s customers then arranged for the re-exportation of the seeds to Iran. The release states that the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) determined PanAmerican Seed did not voluntarily self-disclose the alleged violations to OFAC, constituting an egregious case. “We believe that the settlement was extreme; however the alternative was to litigate with the U.S. government, which would take months, if not years,” says Todd Billings, Chief Financial Officer for Ball Horticultural Co. When asked what Ball Horticultural Co. has done to ensure that violations to trade sanctions do not […]

Read More
young-plants

September 20, 2016

The Top Young Plant Growers, And Four Critical Challeng…

In Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Top Young Plant Growers Survey, growers discuss the latest challenges and opportunities in fulfillment, shipping, labor, and crop protection.

Read More
Cavicchio Greenhouses

September 6, 2016

Cavicchio Greenhouses Wins Inaugural Sustainability Awa…

The Sudbury, MA, growing operation sustains more than 250 acres of annuals, perennials, and nursery stock, with a number of practices to mitigate its impact on the environment.

Read More
Charlie Hall Feature Image

September 6, 2016

10 Insights From Charlie Hall’s Green Industry Economic…

With the uncertain current economic climate, Texas A&M economist Charlie Hall says now may be the perfect time to invest — as long as you do it smartly.

Read More
Penn State Plant Bud

August 23, 2016

AmericanHort Is Helping Plant Importers Adjust To New R…

A report from Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort says the government is implementing a streamlined system for imports, in which all required data will be submitted electronically through a single window.

Read More
Plug Connection Assortment

August 9, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Will Feature…

This year’s conference, which takes place Sept. 19-21 in Carlsbad, CA, features discussions on water, pest and disease control, and production inputs, as well as a biocontrols workshop and tour of local cuttings facilities.

Read More
Cannabis In Greenhouse

July 27, 2016

The Top 5 Myths About Cannabis Production Cleared Up

There is a lot of misleading information going around about growing cannabis. Industry insider James Lowe makes sure you know the truth about cannabis production.

Read More
Joe Bischoff

July 26, 2016

SAF Partners With Cornerstone Government Affairs To Adv…

A new partnership between the Society of American Florists (SAF) and Cornerstone Government Affairs ensures that SAF will continue its highly effective work advocating for issues that affect the floriculture industry. “SAF and Cornerstone together provide experienced voices on Capitol Hill to protect our growers’ interests,” says SAF CEO Peter Moran. “We’ll continue to move major policy priorities forward on behalf of small business and agriculture.” Cornerstone is a public affairs firm specializing in government relations, strategic consulting, and advocacy. Its team of more than 50 senior professionals includes former senior professional staff from both authorization and appropriations committees and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), as well as veterans of the horticulture industry. Agricultural and horticultural issues of primary concern to SAF members include access to labor, immigration, crop protection, international trade and other matters related to the day-to-day operations of growers. Before she retired this year, SAF lobbyist Lin […]

Read More

July 26, 2016

AFE Releases New Videos Highlighting Industry Successes

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently released five new videos, created to highlight floriculture successes through industry collaboration, support, and participation. “Each video shares real stories from industry members on career development through scholarships and internships, and true examples of research solutions that have shaped how the industry operates today,” says Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc., and AFE Public Relations and Development Chair. “We’re excited to be able to share some great success stories in an effort to increase industry participation.” The introductory video “Heard of the American Floral Endowment?” helps educate those who aren’t currently aware of AFE’s programs, while other segmented videos (retail, wholesale, grower) share how Endowment programs complement each group and why it’s so important that everyone in the industry participates: Retail Florists Share Why They Turn to AFE New Resources for Floral Wholesalers and Suppliers AFE Helping Growers Profit Ready for a Career in Floriculture or Horticulture? […]

Read More
Briscoe White, Growers Exchange

July 6, 2016

The Grower’s Exchange Unlocks The Secret to E-Commerce

In the Internet era, Briscoe and Kenan White knew they had to adapt or die and specialize to survive. Here’s how they took The Grower’s Exchange online.

Read More
Brie Arthur

July 6, 2016

5 Can’t-Miss Events To Watch For At Farwest 2016

Whether it’s classes on biocontrols and gardening trends, or networking opportunities in and around the trade show floor, there’s plenty happening at Farwest 2016 in Portland, OR, in August.

Read More
Cannabis states 2016

July 1, 2016

Adult Use Of Cannabis On The Ballot In 2016

25 states have legalized cannabis and public opinion is increasingly positive. Here’s where things may be headed as we move toward the fall elections.

Read More
Practical Software Grower Vertical

June 18, 2016

Practical Software Solutions Increases Accessibility, E…

Practical Software will demonstrate Grower Vertical, its customizable and scalable enterprise management system for the horticulture industry, at Cultivate’16 in July.

Read More
Battlefield Farms Company shot

June 14, 2016

Battlefield Farms Is A Finalist For 2016 Operation Of T…

Battlefield Farms in Rapidan, VA, is one of three finalists for Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Operation Of The Year award and winner of the Excellence In Innovation award for 2016.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]