Closing The Loop

Last month I came home from the California Pack Trials impressed with how proactive and integrated our supply chain has become. We’re doing a much better job anticipating what the marketplace needs and presenting solutions that will make the next season better. We’re setting ourselves up for success. Here are examples of solutions that are making an impact to enhance profits and generate more demand for plants. 

GROWERS

I was impressed with how fast John Henry and MasterTag developed comprehensive solutions in sustainable packaging. I like that they are offering growers choices in eco-friendly materials in varying shades of green. Five materials from John Henry include recycled plastic, bioplastic from corn and plant material, wood fiber and biodegradable, renewable materials. All have been tested for how long they hold up to the elements outdoors. MasterTag also offers customizable options in biodegradable and recycled plastic materials.

Throughout the trials, we saw an array of options in biodegradable/compostable pots and ways to merchandise Ellepots and Fertiss pots in cardboard six packs. We expect Ball’s Circle of Life rice hull pot in the gallon size to be in demand, as well. Proven Winners’ Ready, Set, Grow biodegradable combo pot liner should be a hit with consumers.

Plug Connection is creating a new opportunity for growers to produce its Organiks herb and vegetable line for a national network serving Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s and independent garden centers. Plug Connection will assist growers with the organic certification process, too.

Flower breeders continue to offer growers a choice in inputs. Ball/PanAmerican Seed introduced the first large-flowered purslane series and a ruellia series from seed. Three German breeder-producers – Selecta, Dümmen and Westhoff – are taking labor and guesswork out of combination plantings by sticking three different cuttings into one liner.

On the technical support side, Paul Ecke Ranch has made a significant investment in online resources that have been well received by growers and Goldsmith’s in-person tech support representatives have helped growers with their production systems. 

RETAILERS

Busloads of growers and big-box buyers really had their act together and were focused at the trials. For some flower breeders, it was the third time presenting the new introductions to this group. Pack Trials no longer is the beginning of the process. Commitments were being finalized. This is good because late decision making used to be the biggest problem for growers and their suppliers scrambling to execute national programs.

The Disney and Weather Channel concepts we saw were perfect for large retailers and beginning on a regional basis. We saw a lot of retail vignettes that would be ideal for boutique independents. Proven Winners’ new Color Craze endcaps and the redesigned Simply Beautiful retail presentation are also best suited to independent garden centers. 

CONSUMERS

The most amazing news was that Proven Winners is tripling its consumer impressions to 1 billion this spring through more mainstream, lifestyle-focused television and magazine advertising. Trying to fathom that, Proven Winners partner Tom Smith of Four Star Greenhouse says, "That’s 10,000 stadiums full of 100,000 people!"

Proven Winners’ Marketing Director Marshall Dirks has done an effective job engaging consumers on a regular basis, seeking their opinions on all new marketing and design decisions while finding out more about their habits and interests. This spring, more than 115,000 consumers called an 800 number to request Proven Winners’ "Idea Book."

There’s no question that Proven Winners is breaking new ground and making an impact. Ball is following a similar path with its Wave petunias and fan club. As a grower, there has never been a better time to get behind these products and programs. 

Leave a Reply

Latest Stories
EPCOT Suntory Princettia Euphorbia

January 23, 2017

Princettia Euphorbias Charm Vacationers at Disney Resor…

Suntory’s Princettia euphorbias have brought a new color palette to the holiday landscapes at Walt Disney World’s resorts and theme parks in central Florida.

Read More
Ever Bloom Robot Sprayer feature

January 23, 2017

New Automation Systems Improve Spraying and Harvesting

In response to increasing regulations on labor, Ever-Bloom Inc. decided to invest in new automation technology that also dramatically improves efficiency.

Read More
Youngs Plant Farm Trial Garden feature

January 21, 2017

Don’t Miss the Southern Garden Tour This June

Growers, retailers, and all industry professionals are invited to the 2017 Southern Garden Tour, which is hosted by Young’s Plant Farms, Sakata, and Metrolina Greenhouses, and will be held June 6-8.

Read More
Gaillardia 'Mesa Red'

January 21, 2017

2016 Pike Creek Horticulture Center Field Trials Result…

Check out the 2016 field trials results for The Pike Creek Horticulture Center in Kenosha, WI.

Read More
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