On average, growers responding to Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Poinsettia Survey said the poinsettia season was “good,” a positive middle ground between the varying answers we received saying it was either the strongest in years, or very poor.
For some growers, sales started out strong in the early season, and slowed down toward the end due to bitter cold and snowy weather.
“The season seems to get earlier and earlier each year,” said Mark Landa of Boulevard Flower Gardens, a grower-retailer in the Southeast.
Some growers said sales were flat or down year over year.
“The market seemed to be a little weaker than last year. We had the same customer base, but sold around 5% fewer units,” said Kyle Peterson of Fessler Nursery, a wholesale grower in the Northwest.
Brad Alcott of Alcott Greenhouses, a grower-retailer in the Northeast, said, “Consumer enthusiasm is the same with poinsettias now as it was for pot mums 15 years ago.”
For other growers, quality was up, consumers were enthusiastic and drove early sales — especially on Black Friday — and fundraiser sales grew.
“Despite getting hammered by two named storms, the demand for holiday decorating with poinsettias was as strong, if not stronger, than ever,” said Kurt Oelschig of Oelschig Nursery, a wholesale grower in the Southeast.
Richard Trinklein of grower-retailer Trinklein Brothers Greenhouses in the Midwest, said, “We received more compliments than ever on the quality of our 8-inch (pots).”
Abe Van Wingerden of Metrolina Greenhouses, a wholesale grower in the Southeast, said, “This was another solid growth year for poinsettias in the stores we serve. We were up in sales at all of our customers, and the business was driven again by non-traditional SKUs like foliage bowls and painted poinsettias. White continues to grow as a percentage of the total mix, and pink is fading as a color consumers want.”
In the end, the poinsettia market is ripe for new possibilities, including tapping into sales to younger generations, promoting plants as gifts and holiday décor, educating consumers about plant care, and finally, getting rid of ill-conceived notions about poinsettias.
“The opportunity is out there if you know where to look for it,” said Jason Parks of Parks Brothers Farm, a wholesale grower in the Southeast.
Of the 108 producers who took Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Poinsettia Survey, 63% were grower-retailers and 37% were wholesale growers. They hail from the Midwest (32%), Northeast (19%), Southeast (19%), Southwest (12%), West (5%), and outside the U.S. (11%).
Size wise, the largest group of respondents were growers with less than 100,000 square feet of greenhouse (55%), followed by growers with 100,000 to 250,000 square feet (15%), 500,000 to 1 million square feet (7%), 1 to 3 million square feet (7%), 10 to 15 million square feet (2%), and 5 to 8 million square feet (1%).
See Greenhouse Grower‘s print article in the February 2017 issue to see which poinsettia varieties sold fastest and best, were most profitable, and were the most difficult to produce. Look for the 2016 State of the Industry: Poinsettia Whitepaper coming soon for download from GreenhouseGrower.com.