How would you describe the state of the greenhouse floriculture industry today?
It’s all about the weather. The best-laid plans, along with great product quality and packaging, are laid to waste if it rains every weekend. The opposite is not true, but to the same degree: Great weather will make it somewhat easier to sell “C” grade product, but only after the “All-Stars” are done shipping.
Has our industry entered a new era or paradigm shift? Please explain why or why not.
Mass merchants are more aligned to specific vendors, resulting in the grower having more ownership on merchandising, product flow and other aspects of the retail experience. Independent garden centers have to be better at competing on overall value to the consumer by providing a retail experience that cannot be compared to a mass merchant–product diversity, product knowledge, sales assistance and convenience. Product quality is a given.
What are the greatest challenges growers are facing today?
Stagnant demand by consumers for our products. With more demand, we would have more opportunities to increase sales and increase margins.
What are the greatest opportunities for growers to build their business?
Focus on the ultimate consumer and what they are looking for with our product. Convenient and eye-catching packaging and tagging; easy to understand product applications; consistently excellent product quality; healthy and vibrant plants.
At the same time, we should focus on the retail chain by utilizing technology to reduce transaction costs, minimize delivery surprises and improve product flow from the production greenhouse to the retail floor.
For more information on Wenke Greenhouses, visit its website at WenkeGreenhouses.com.