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

More From ...

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Janeen Wright

March 2, 2015

Deliver Plant Quality That Trumps Price [Opinion]

The industry's goal is to have loyal customers who return to the same plants time and time again, not because of price, but owing to a plant brand that shouts top-notch garden performance and is synonymous with excellence, which gives them the secure knowledge that their investment will be worth every hard-earned cent.

Read More
Heuch Pink Fizz_featured

March 2, 2015

Intergeneric Crosses Are A New Perennial Trend

Intergeneric crosses, oddities some botanists say are an impossibility, have made serious inroads in the perennial world.

Read More
Latest Stories

March 2, 2015

Avoid Surprises On The Delivery Dock

A call in advance about problems with a plant shipment to a retailer you supply goes a long way toward customer satisfaction.

Read More
Janeen Wright

March 2, 2015

Deliver Plant Quality That Trumps Price [Opinion]

The industry's goal is to have loyal customers who return to the same plants time and time again, not because of price, but owing to a plant brand that shouts top-notch garden performance and is synonymous with excellence, which gives them the secure knowledge that their investment will be worth every hard-earned cent.

Read More
Heuch Pink Fizz_featured

March 2, 2015

Intergeneric Crosses Are A New Perennial Trend

Intergeneric crosses, oddities some botanists say are an impossibility, have made serious inroads in the perennial world.

Read More
Harvest Automation - HV-100

March 2, 2015

Robots Grab Hold Of Growers’ Material Handling Needs

Harvest Automation’s HV-100 robots automate one of the hardest, most labor-intensive jobs at growing operations – plant spacing. With more technology coming, investing in robots could become even more realistic for growers of all sizes.

Read More
Smart Herb Garden

March 2, 2015

Smartpot Uses Sensors And Cartridges To Ensure Success …

Click & Grow helps make it simple for consumers to grow their own herbs and spices at home, even if they have little experience with plants.

Read More

March 2, 2015

Student Flash Mob At TPIE Has Roots In Floriculture

The local FFA students who entertained TPIE attendees in 2014 and 2015 received industry donations of plants and a greenhouse structure to help expand their horticultural program.

Read More
Rose Rosette on Knockout rose, May 2013. Photo credit: Alan Windham, University of Tennessee

March 2, 2015

Rose Rosette Disease Fight Gets A Boost From Government…

In 2014, $4.6 million was awarded through the Farm Bill to tackle rose rosette disease, a devastating pathogen that affects one of the industry’s most important crops.

Read More
Fig 1 Leafy Gall On Leucanthemum Becky

March 2, 2015

How To Prevent Leafy Gall Before You Lose Plants

Leafy gall is a nasty disease that can go undetected until plant damage is done. Take these steps to protect your crops from infection.

Read More
Gaillardia x grandiflora 'Arizona Apricot'

February 25, 2015

National Garden Bureau Designates 2015 As Year Of The G…

Gaillardia, also known as the blanket flower, is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae) and a long-blooming pollinator plant. It is fitting that the National Garden Bureau has specified 2015 as The Year of the Gaillardia.

Read More
IPPS Sharing Plant Production Knowledge Globally Logo

February 25, 2015

International Plant Propagators Western Region Sets Ann…

The annual meet for the International Plant Propagators' Society (IPPS) Western Region has been set for this September. It will take place September 23 to 26 in Modesto, Calif., and will include learning sessions, tours to local nurseries, a research poster display and poster presentations, various networking opportunities and an awards banquet to close the event.

Read More
Evolvulus Blue My Mind

February 24, 2015

Blue Ribbon Bloomers For Greenhouse Production

Grow what consumers want! Surveys show that blue is one of the top preferred colors of today’s consumers. Here are twelve top recommended blue-flowering Proven Winners annuals and perennials to suit your spring production cycle.

Read More
myers industries Lawn and Garden Logo

February 24, 2015

Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn And Garden Business Sold, N…

The management of Myers Lawn and Garden Group, along with Wingate Partners V, L.P. have recently acquired the Myers Industries, Inc. Lawn and Garden business. The new company is named The HC Companies, and will continue as a North American leading provider of horticulture containers supplying the greenhouse, nursery and retail markets.

Read More
Outfitting Your Greenhouse

February 24, 2015

Save Energy With The Right Greenhouse Glazing

The glazing you choose can make a big difference in your energy bill and the uniformity of your crops.

Read More
Rough Brothers aeroponic greenhouse project

February 24, 2015

Rough Brothers Takes A Hands-On Approach To Several Pro…

Two projects Rough Brothers worked on for Altman plants in Giddings, Texas, and Scissortail Farms in Tulsa County, Okla., show that pre-planning on the grower's part opens the way for a smooth-running expansion project.

Read More
Michigan State University Extension

February 24, 2015

Ethylene From Defective Greenhouse Heaters Damages Crop…

Malfunctioning greenhouse heaters can lead to crop damage from ethylene and carbon monoxide induced illness for workers. Michigan State University's Extension educators Tom Dudek and Randy Beaudry teach you how to recognize the symptoms and check greenhouse heaters to avoid the concern.

Read More
Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing's Rainbow Super Structure

February 23, 2015

Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing Says Every Customer’s G…

Well-suited greenhouses that function efficiently for customers arise from involving them in the design process from start to finish. Stuppy Greenhouse Manufacturing put this philosophy on a greenhouse design for a wholesale grower looking to expand his annuals operation. The grower's needs were simple, yet daunting: design a greenhouse that delivers the perfect growing environment, but keep maintenance and operating costs low.

Read More
Havest Automation Robot

February 18, 2015

Robots Grab Hold Of Growers’ Material Handling Needs

Harvest Automation’s HV-100 robots automate one of the hardest, most labor-intensive jobs at growing operations – plant spacing. With more technology coming, investing in robots could become even more realistic for growers of all sizes.

Read More

February 18, 2015

Range Of Nursery Inspections To Protect Patented Plants…

Plant patents are under protection, and breeders are fighting for their rights to keep growers from illegally propagating protected varieties. It's something you don't want to take a chance on, because the risk is far higher than the reward. More than 300 inspections were carried out last year from New York to British Columbia and from Ontario to Florida to protect plant patents, Plant Breeders’ Rights (PBR) and branded programs.

Read More