Bringing Style To Supermarkets

When I attended the Super Floral Show in Columbus, Ohio, this summer, I was really impressed by the growers who specialize in blooming potted plants and serving supermarkets. I just drove down for the day and wish I would have spent two days at the show. Each grower exhibitor I visited had great news and was excited about new products and programs. It was a really upbeat event.

The growers who lead in blooming potted plants are stronger than ever. They’ve survived dramatic consolidation of their retail base as regional chains became conglomerates and winnowed out lesser players. They are continuously reinvesting in their businesses, distribution capabilities, innovative products and supply chain relationships.

East Coast giant Kurt Weiss Greenhouses rolled out a new program called Elements, matching plants with home décor in concepts inspired by furniture retailer Ikea. Each of the four outer corners of its booth had a color-scheme vignette of a living room fireplace. To think more like a designer, Kurt Weiss hired a floral and design industry veteran to develop the program.

Dave Foltz, vice president of sales, says buyers like the color-theme promotions, especially in between holidays. This concept has been a way to raise the value of the plants at an affordable cost to the grower and retailer and provide affordable style to consumers.

Canadian giant, Westbrook Greenhouses, has been sourcing upscale pottery and wooden and metal containers from China to provide added value at an affordable pricepoint. In addition to price, more growers have been saying the designs are more attractive than domestically-produced pottery and more in line with home décor. Westbrook’s Rej Picard told me, "We are bringing in container loads from China. Everyone has got African violets and kalanchoes. This is why we needed to get into value added."

Grower Norm White in Virginia, who built his reputation on mums, continues to bring new varieties into the blooming potted plant mix. He is pleased with sales of potted celosia from cuttings matched with a jazzy purple pot cover. He sold 40,000 6-inch plants this year. His painted poinsettias also are still going strong.

But what I was really impressed with was Norm’s participation in a new marketing consortium called Senses Merchandising and Promotion, headed up by former Stop & Shop buyer Sandra Hering. The idea is to bring breeders, growers and retailers together to provide lifestyle décor concepts consumers want in plants.

Growing operations so far include Aldershot of New Mexico, Hermann Engelmann Greenhouses, Loops Nursery and Greenhouses, White’s Nursery and Greenhouses and Yoder Canada. The retail brands are Living Décor for gift-ready/home décor-ready plants in upscale containers and Living Quality, for when consumers want a new plant but don’t necessarily need a new pot. A new palette of colors will roll out every season, just like in the fashion and interior design worlds.

"We’ll be shortening the supply chain," Hering says. "Breeders can bring new products to market faster and get feedback fast. Retailers will see new products. Growers will get preferential treatment and be part of testing and trialing. This will be built on quality and documentation. We’ve got to test and know how long things will really last. We will have impactful displays, not just products and price, and not the cheapest."

I’ve always believed more could and should be done to promote blooming potted plants and am glad to see it happening.

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories
Anna Chernyavsky

January 20, 2017

New Director of Sales for Bedding Plants and Perennials…

Anna Chernyavsky, who joined Danziger in August 2016, will be in charge of the U.S. and United Kingdom markets.

Read More
Workplace Trends

January 20, 2017

10 Trends Predicted to Impact the Workplace in 2017

Here are 10 workplace trends that Forbes contributor Dan Schawbel predicts for 2017 that may change the way you do business in the future

Read More
Hydrangea ‘Endless Summer BloomStruck’ (Bailey Nurseries)

January 19, 2017

Bailey Nurseries Hosting Spring Previews in February

The previews, which provide education, new variety information, and retail support programs, will take place in Illinois, Minnesota, and Boston.

Read More
Bouldin and Lawson Precision Needle Seeder feature

January 19, 2017

How You Can Get More Precise With Your Seeder

Bouldin & Lawson’s Precision Needle Seeder is designed to improve accuracy when sowing small, difficult seeds.

Read More
Selecta Sponsor bed at Raker trial gardens

January 18, 2017

2016 C. Raker & Sons Field Trials Results

Check out the 2016 field trials results for C. Raker & Sons in Litchfield, MI.

Read More
EFTE Film

January 18, 2017

Looking at Glass or Polyethylene for Your New Structure…

Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene, also known as EFTE, is a fluorine-based material that looks like a standard polyethylene greenhouse film but offers high light transmittance.

Read More
Nadia Sabeh, CEAC

January 18, 2017

Upcoming Seminars to Focus on Managing the Greenhouse E…

The seminars, which will also be accessible online, are presented by the University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

Read More
Spring Meadow Nursery Fire

January 17, 2017

Two Major Growers Recovering and Rebuilding After Fires

The blazes occurred at Dan Schantz Farm and Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA, and Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, MI. Both companies say no employees were injured, and they plan to pull together and stay on schedule for the remainder of the year.

Read More
Dallas Johnson

January 17, 2017

Dallas Johnson Greenhouses Owner Passes Away at 78

Dallas G. Johnson, who started the company in 1985, is survived by his wife, Kay, and two children.

Read More
Joe Cimino, Sakata Seed America

January 17, 2017

Sakata Seed Names New Senior Sales Manager for Ornament…

Joe Cimino comes to Sakata with past experience at Sun Gro and Florexpo.

Read More
JinPin Flower Seedling Company partners

January 17, 2017

Ernst Benary Partners With Chinese Young Plant Grower o…

The partnership creates a new company called Jinpin Flower Seedling Company, which will focus on providing young plants to the rapidly growing Chinese bedding plant market.

Read More
PC-31 Transplanter (Visser)

January 17, 2017

Visser NA Rebrands as Bellpark Horticulture

The new name will equally represent not only Visser, but all of the brands Bellpark represents, including Mayer, Logitec Plus, and Drygair in North America.

Read More
Stephanie Whitehouse

January 17, 2017

Stephanie Whitehouse Takes Her Passion for Plants to Di…

Stephanie Whitehouse, who has spent the last seven years as the Sales and Marketing Director for Peace Tree Farm in Kintnersville, PA, recently joined Dickman Farms Greenhouse and Garden Center in Auburn, NY, as the company’s new Retail General Manager.

Read More

January 13, 2017

We Must Help Heal Our Nation, with Plants and Flowers […

No matter how you may feel — personally or professionally — about the outcome of the election, it’s likely that you realize our nation has some healing to do.

Read More
Effective pest control

January 12, 2017

Prevention and Early Intervention: The Keys to Biocont…

Advance preparation and starting out right helps you implement an effective biocontrol program that reduces pest pressure.

Read More
Dipladenia Sundenia

January 11, 2017

New Tropical and Foliage Plants That Offer Hidden Benef…

Tropical and foliage plants can offer extra paybacks to your customers in terms of health-promoting benefits such as filtering the air, reducing stress, and absorbing noise. Consider these new varieties, hitting the retail market in 2017, for your product mix.

Read More

January 10, 2017

5 Can’t-Miss Events and Activities at TPIE

The Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association’s Tropical Plant Industry Exposition (TPIE) is fast approaching. As you plan your trip, here are five can’t-miss highlights from this year’s show.

Read More

January 10, 2017

Sidney B. Meadows Scholarship Endowment Fund Accepting …

The deadline for applications is May 26, and 12 scholarships of $1,500 each will be awarded at the SEGreen Conference in August.

Read More