Poinsettia Survey: Complete Results

Late last year, we surveyed growers about their poinsettias. We asked them questions regarding production, sales, marketing and more. Now, we present the complete results from that survey.

How many years has your operation been growing poinsettias?

More than 30        37.1%
20 to 30               33.9%
10 to 20               14.5%
5 to 10                   9.7%
Less than 5            4.8%

Where are you located?

Northeast         25.8%
Southeast        13.7%
Midwest           37.1%
Southwest          2.4%
West                12.9%
Not In The U.S.    8.1%

Who is your primary poinsettia customer?

E-commerce sites                0.9%
Farm markets                      0
Home improvement chains    4.3%
Independent garden centers 26.5%
Mass market retailers           8.5%
Other growers                      1.7%
Supermarket chains             7.7%
Wholesale florists                9.4%
Your own retail shop           39.3%

From which of the four major poinsettia breeders do you buy cuttings? Check all that apply.

Dümmen                 32.7%
Paul Ecke Ranch     95.3%
Selecta First Class  15.0%
Syngenta Flowers    51.4%

What percentage of your total poinsettia production consisted of the following colors?

Red         73.80%
White        8.35%
Pink          5.32%
Marble       3.91%
Other         8.62%

What percentage of your greenhouse production space did you dedicate to poinsettias in 2009?

76 to 100 percent    23.2%
51 to 75 percent      25.0%
26 to 50 percent      21.4%
25 percent or less    30.4%

How does your poinsettia production this year compare to your poinsettia production in 2008?

Our production is up 10 percent                                9.9%
Our production is up between 5 and 10 percent        13.5%
Our production is up less than 5 percent                    5.4%
Our production is about the same as last year          26.1%
Our production is down less than 5 percent              13.5%
Our production is down between 5 and 10 percent    16.2%
Our production is down more than 10 percent           15.3%

What percentage of the poinsettias you produced this year did you wind up dumping?

We didn’t dump a single poinsettia.    14.4%
Less than 5 percent.                         55.0%
Between 5 and 10 percent.                13.5%
Between 10 and 20 percent               11.7%
More than 20 percent.                         5.4%

Will you grow poinsettias again in 2010?

Yes      88.4%
No         3.6% 
Maybe    8.0%

Please list the average wholesale prices you received per pot for the following poinsettia sizes in 2009. (No decimals. Round to the nearest whole number (i.e. 12)

4.5-inch      $2.93
6-inch        $5.09  
6.5-inch     $6.44 
8-inch        $8.45
10-inch     $20.71

Please list the average retail prices you received per pot for the following poinsettia sizes in 2009. (No decimals. Round to the nearest whole number (i.e. 12)

4.5-inch    $5.10
6-inch       $9.70 
6.5-inch    $12.38 
8-inch       $22.65 
10-inch     $32.88

How did your 2009 poinsettia sales compare to your 2008 poinsettia sales?

Sales increased more than 10 percent.        12.2%
Sales increased between 5 and 10 percent.  22.0%
Sales increased less than 5 percent.           13.4%
Sales were about the same.                       28.0%
Sales decreased less than 5 percent.           6.1%
Sales decreased between 5 and 10 percent. 11.0%
Sales decreased more than 10 percent.         7.3%

Which of the following is your biggest sales competitor on poinsettias?

E-commerce sites                 0
Farm markets                       0
Home improvement chains    27.5%
Independent garden centers    2.5%
Mass market retailers           30.0%
Other growers                      27.5%
Supermarket chains             8.8%
Warehouse clubs                1.3%
Wholesale florists                1.3%
Your own retail shop            1.3%

What was your top-selling red poinsettia in 2009?

Prestige            58.2%
Freedom Red    12.7%
Mars                  8.9% 
Premium Red     5.1% 
Peterstar Red     3.8% 
Orion                 3.8%  
Other                 7.5% 

How would you rate the 2009 poinsettia market on a scale of 1 to 10?

1    3.6%
2    0
3    2.4%
4    12.0%
5    20.5%
6    12.0%
7    14.5%
8    24.1%
9    9.6%
10   1.2%

Have you discovered any new or emerging poinsettia markets with promise in the last year? If so, what are they?

• Increased fundraiser sales
• Spray painted, with glass balls, ribbons, glitter, spray snow, picks, in a fancy basket or pot
• Specially grown poinsettias (mini trees, Christmas trees, etc.)
• Gifts for larger businesses
• School sales
• Offering better prices in our retail store increases foot traffic and all in house sales
• Direct sales to churches, doctors or pharmacies that give plants to their customers
• Chain stores
• Plant premiums grown directly for a company to give as a gift to their customers.
• Wholesale florists
• Upgraded product instead of a plain potted poinsettia

What is the biggest obstacle your operation is currently facing regarding poinsettias?

Competition                                     13.3%
Cuttings quality                                 3.6%
Height control                                   6.0%
Marketing                                        13.3%
Media and fertilization management    1.2%
Pests and diseases                           8.4%
Pricing                                            36.1%
Temperature control                           8.4%
Other                                                9.6%

What were your impressions of the 2009 poinsettia market?

• It was surprisingly good considering the economic climate.
• We grew and sold less but for more money.
• Much better than 2008!
• There was very little interest in large sizes.
• Our market was strong and our crops will increase in 2010.
• Holding on but always looking for the next new market.
• It is like azaleas – people no longer see real value in them.
• Overall good but down from 2008.
• Some of the churches in our area closed this year, but we picked up some new church orders. We have support from our local communities.
• Cloudy days were a negative but the crop turned out OK.
• Heating costs are making it harder and harder to grow poinsettias. Poinsettias are sluggish and getting harder to sell. We need to keep broadening our customer base.
• We made better use of our growing area (i.e. more hanging baskets and closer spacing). This, in return, reduced our heating costs, which are our biggest cost we can control. We reduced our growing space by 50 percent but we only grew 20 percent fewer poinsettias.
•.Good overall crop and market.
• It’s tough and the poor economy made it worse.
• Soft compared to the gift market.
• Around here (where income is limited), we had pretty good sales. We dumped fewer, but I planted fewer.
• Retail customers are willing to pay for better quality and size, but mass merchandisers are loathed to stock a higher price point poinsettia.
• Great except for those big companies that sold poinsettias for $1 as a loss leader. I can’t buy a cutting under a dollar much less grow it for three months!
• Great! We sold everything pretty much. Prices held through and discounts were offered after December 10. Hardly no dump. Last year was not so good. Slow sales, early price discounting, and dump.
• Tighter market. Hopefully that will remain for 2010.
• Fairly good prices are too low to show much of a profit.
• OK. I’m glad we made it through another year.
• It’s OK. Consumer stress led to traditional buying decisions. This helped maintain the market.
• Not as good as previous years.
• A good year in the end. Sluggish sales mid-season had us concerned but they cleared up well at the end.
• One of our better years in recent history, even with slightly leggier plants than desired.
• Mass marketers continue to lower the perceived value of a poinsettia.
• We still too much production, and it’s hard to get prices up.
• I was not able to get out to see what the competition had to offer. I am always told our poinsettias are some of the best.
• Surprised at how popular color was over traditional red.
• We raised our prices by $1.50, sold less but made about the same amount of money.
• People are buying less than they use to.
• We had several growers in our area go out of business. That is what helped open our market up. Plus, other growers quit growing and just bought from us.
• With places like Lowe’s and Walmart selling 6.5-inch pots for $3.95, we can’t compete. We depend on quality instead of quantity.
• Larger sizes sold very well.
• Sales were slow. Nobody seemed to complain about price because our quality was very good.
• We are a fundraiser/church operation only and the number of boxes going after this market and the prices they are willing to sell for are remarkable. Still, the sales were much better than prior year, and we had to end up buying in some to fill all orders.
• Here in a military town the market was as good as usual.
• This was a strong year for poinsettias. Consumers were in the mood to purchase. Red was more popular than ever, and prices held in check.
• Flat. Kind of lackluster.
• My market is steady because of the reputation we have in growing a high-quality crop.
• Our churches were down significantly. Walk-in was up.
• Pleasantly surprised with sales this season.
• Reasonable until the week of December 13, when horrible weather killed the market.
• Our single poinsettias (7-inch pots) have historically been our biggest seller, but this past year more retail and wholesale customers were purchasing doubles (8-inch) and triples (10-inch). We found that although grocery stores had cheapened the single points, the price on doubles and triples were the same/slightly higher than our retail price. We will definitely increase our price and production of doubles and triples.
• Small or less expensive ruled the roost.
• Our impression is a lot of garden centers have made the exceptionally bad decision to stop selling poinsettias.
• We were very lucky this year. A few bigger growers stopped growing their own poinsettias and started buying them from us. Now, if we can get the business back next year, we will increase our production for 2010.
• Stores maintained low inventory which led to more deliveries.
• Soft. Too low of prices and over-production.
• Great sales but they still cost a ton to grow the quality I want.
• I was surprised at how strong it was .Going in, I had concerns about sales.
• Demand was up, supply was down.
• Poinsettias continue trending toward commodities, driving down prices, "cheapening" crops and making profitability difficult-to-impossible.
•.Big box stores are still selling junk at very low prices.
• Up and healthy compared to 2008.
• Reasonably strong throughout. Pre-books were more conservative, with in-season sales good and late-season sales surprisingly strong.
• The 2009 poinsettia market was very busy. We saw an excellent sell-through with all of our wholesale clients as well as in our retail stores. Despite the economic worries, people were still purchasing poinsettias.
• We thought it was very good but we never let our guard down and pushed until they were sold out. Our crop quality was very good. We computed our cost very closely and put ourselves in our "local" market competitively. We did not have to discount. Price held to the end and we were effectively sold out in week 50.

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