Our December 2013 issue was our 30th anniversary issue and in it, we looked ahead to the next 30 years in the greenhouse. We asked for your predictions and thoughts on the future of this industry and we thank you for all your comments on this forward-looking issue. Here’s a sampling:
On Marketing To Generation Z
“We have a young family and I agree that all kids are tech wizards. My daughter will Google everything before ever considering a purchase. So how do we reach them? The internet is great, but plants need to be touched, smelled and seen. There is such an impact when a child smells pineapple sage or touches a livingstone daisy. We make sure parents know that kids are allowed to touch the plants; we encourage it. We have arranged a ladybug release and invited the local elementary classes for next June. I agree that we need to market to the young, get out on the internet, to get them to your door.”
— Deb Foisy
On Predictions For The Next 30 Years In The Greenhouse
“We should ask ourselves the question: Is our mission to educate people on the benefits of gardening – or – should we be doing more to show them how to incorporate plants into their lifestyles?
“The two biggest factors I see that impact buying and growing plants are:
1. The space where we live our lives.
2. The time we are willing to allocate to tending plants.
We can apply all the technology, eMails, websites, QR codes, social media and apps, but if we don’t provide the product and message the consumer wants, we will not develop and grow our market.
“Do we need to ‘think outside the garden’? The new American garden is the porch, deck, balcony, patio and containers in the garden.
“Gardening in the ground is like cooking from scratch. Fewer and fewer people do it or want to do it. Container gardening holds huge potential growth for our industry. We might want to spend more time showing consumers how to use plants in their environment and less time on how to grow plants.”
— John Martens
On Consumer Culture And Lifestyle Demographics To Watch
“I think the emphasis on offering more locally grown flowers and plants should always be the key, as our industry is contributing to the global warming significantly. Our industry spends so much fuel and money shipping plants from one continent to the other just to make a profit, we’ve lost track of ourselves. More simple-to-grow plants that are easily propagated on site, instead of having to grow in mass production and ship by the millions, is the key.”
— Kyle Baker
On Crops Of The Future
“There are local big growing operations in many areas of the country that are looking at food production. Not all of them will be able to convert to marijuana, especially with competition in that arena from the investment community. Small producers will again find issues with inefficiency as big growers find new ways to reach local markets — such as through Amazon Fresh and their competitors. Food is here and now and a part of keeping smaller producers in business. But they had better have a better plan than just producing food for their local market.
“Flowers are not a dead deal. But whether food or flowers, we all need discipline in the supply chain to not commoditize our industry in yet another way with the false assumption that lower prices create and drive demand and consumption. I say that knowing that this is the American way. Some choose to commoditize and sell as cheaply as possible, and others choose to add value and create perceived value and charge for it. The issue is to recognize that and choose one or the other.”
— Sid Raisch