Potted Lily Potential In The U.S.

Potted Lily Potential In The U.S.

Lily bulb supplier Zabo Plants was the first scheduled stop of my visit to The Netherlands. I sat down with Zabo’s Frits Kneppers, who discussed lily bulb production, challenges bulb growers are facing today and a recent shift in European growers wanting to exhibit at the FloraHolland Trade Fair in Aalsmeer as opposed to the Horti Fair in Amsterdam. Those were all interesting conversations and I’ll get to some of them in later blog posts, but the conversation with Kneppers that struck me most was our conversation about the state of potted lilies in the United States.

Zabo’s lily supply, of course, isn’t limited to Dutch or other European growers. Zabo has a presence at U.S. box stores like Walmart and Home Depot with its Lily Looks potted lily program that includes about 17 lilies. When Zabo approached Walmart about a potted lily program five years ago, Kneppers says Walmart was on the verge of venturing out of the potted lily business altogether. The quality, Kneppers says, simply wasn’t being provided, and potted lily growers weren’t providing enough lilies when they were needed most.

But right around the time Walmart was considering dropping potted lilies, Kneppers says Zabo convinced growers to try its potted lilies after three university trials proved successful. The quality of potted lilies being produced then slowly improved at the box stores, and the U.S. growers growing potted lilies are now providing enough for the box stores’ targeted sales window.

Still, Kneppers sees room for improvements in the U.S. potted lily market.

“The quality of pot lilies is still much more developed in other countries,” he says. “When I drive along the West Coast (of the U.S.), I see the size of the houses and wonder what is being done. Growers are providing a cheap lily, and there is a market right there for higher-priced lilies if quality is improved.”

And until consumers realize potted lily quality has more room for improvement, Kneppers says they’ll continue to buy whatever growers provide at lower prices. The obvious way to improve quality is to decrease production. Right now, he believes U.S. growers put too much emphasis on producing as much as possible. If growers focused on growing less but better quality products, they would have more success.

At least that’s Kneppers belief and recommendation.

“Give your lilies a little more space to grow, and you’ll produce more quality,” Kneppers says. “When you charge 2 or 3 cents more per lily, that’s a 10 to 15 percent improvement per lily. Growers must not consider that in their calculations. Twenty or 30 percent less production should result in savings. A very fast calculation is not a good thing for the U.S. Growers should be much more quality conscious.”

The responsibility of quality isn’t only on growers, though. It’s more important than ever that suppliers like Zabo make color selections consumers want. It’s also the supplier’s job to create programs consumers can get excited about, but it’s even more important for suppliers to update programs with new introductions so consumers come back for more.

Zabo will be keeping its Lily Looks program fresh in the coming years with the introduction of double lilies Kneppers hopes to introduce to the industry next year. Oriental lilies are on the way, as well.

Ideally, Kneppers says U.S. potted lily growers would better be served if their sales window was wider. Potted lilies are typically sold in the U.S. between April and June, but they’re available in The Netherlands well into summer. Perhaps improved or enhanced programs that emphasize potted lilies throughout summer could extend that sales window? Kneppers says programs need to improve at supermarket chains. There’s too much potential with potted lilies not to improve them, he says.

“Even if you have poor quality in the U.S., you can survive because of your marketing strategy,” Kneppers says. “The U.S. is more marketing driven. I like the American market because companies can make easy changes. Here, everything is quality.”

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Potted Lily Potential In The U.S.

  1. Part of the problem is that the big box stores like Walmart -drive the price down and are more concerned with a lower price than a better product!!

  2. Part of the problem is that the big box stores like Walmart -drive the price down and are more concerned with a lower price than a better product!!

More From Varieties...
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Edibles

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In Columbus, OH

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianthus

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More
Latest Stories
Pleasant View Gardens Savor Edibles

July 22, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens Targets Millennials With Savor Ed…

Taking something as ubiquitous as vegetables and herbs and giving it a fresh new look is no easy task, but Pleasant View Gardens took on the challenge with extensive research and creative marketing.

Read More
Dummen New Columbus Office

July 21, 2016

Dümmen Orange Opens New North American Headquarters In …

The new office, which officially opened during Cultivate’16, supports the company’s vision to be integrated into a vibrant and inspiring community, and provides a bright, modern workspace for its approximately 30 local employees.

Read More
Pollen Free Lisianthus

July 20, 2016

Sakata Seed Develops World’s First Pollen-Free Lisianth…

With no stamen to produce pollen, the new Lisianthus varieties have improved flower durability and the benefit of no scattered pollen that can cause staining of flowers and machines.

Read More

July 19, 2016

17 New Vegetable Intros For Greenhouse Production

New varieties of edibles introduced at 2016 California Spring Trials offer something for every type of gardener, from the beginning do-it-yourselfer to the hardcore, heirloom-only type. Check out some of the new varieties we saw at Spring Trials this year that will be available for retail in 2017.

Read More
One Earth Edibles From Peace Tree Farm

July 16, 2016

How To Capture Your Share Of The Edibles Market

At Peace Tree Farm, One Earth Edibles represent healthy living on a healthy planet.

Read More
Terra Nova Nurseries Catalog

July 15, 2016

New Product Catalog From Terra Nova Nurseries Designed …

The new catalog, which made its debut at Cultivate’16, offers easy access to organized genera grouped alphabetically, and also by size, color, habit, top sellers, photography, newest varieties, and USDA horticultural zones.

Read More
Pleasant View Open House

July 8, 2016

Pleasant View Gardens And D.S. Cole Growers Hosting Ope…

The 20th annual event will feature new introductions from Proven Winners, as well as annuals, combos, and Pleasant View’s new Savor Edibles and Fragrants line.

Read More
NatureSweet

July 5, 2016

NatureSweet And Ganfer Partner On Tomato Production

The partnership will add more than 250 acres of NatureSweet greenhouse tomato production over the next three years.

Read More
SunPatiens Sakata Medal of Excellence Feature

June 29, 2016

SunPatiens Earns The 2016 Medal Of Excellence In Market…

With its reputation for excellent garden performance from spring to frost, and as a problem-solver for Impatiens Downy Mildew, SunPatiens has become a “hero plant” that helps gardeners succeed.

Read More
Kelly Norris - feature

June 28, 2016

Kelly Norris: Three Variety Trends That Caught My Eye T…

My reflections on promising new plants, the realities of market penetration, and adding value along the supply chain.

Read More
Dr Allan Armitage

June 25, 2016

Three Types Of Plant Consumers To Watch

There are three emerging groups of plant consumers that you should be targeting for plant sales in the future, according to Allan Armitage.

Read More
FleuroStar Award Ceremony

June 20, 2016

Begonia Hybrid ‘Miss Malibu’ Takes Home FleuroStar Awar…

The award from Fleuroselect was announced at the Green Inspiration Event in Amsterdam.

Read More
Caryopteris 'Beyond Midnight Bluebeard'

June 20, 2016

Keep The Sales Coming With 16 New Blooming Varieties Fo…

Plants that put on a show from first frost long into fall and offer the color options consumers want for their gardens go a long way toward extending sales further into the season and can help maintain your sales momentum going strong. Check out these 16 new blooming varieties, both traditional favorites and new alternatives, for your fall crop selection.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 18, 2016

Mark Your Calendar For Sakata Seed Trials In August

Sakata has set two dates for its California-based trials: Aug. 15-17 in Salinas, and Aug. 17-19 in Woodland.

Read More
Tomato Congress Logo

June 15, 2016

International Tomato Congress In Mexico Will Focus On G…

The event, which takes place in San Luis Potosi from July 20-22, will feature discussions on production strategies, cost management in protected structures, and optimizing your greenhouse environment.

Read More
Nir Nursery Wax Flower Pot Plant

June 14, 2016

Danziger Reaches Deal To Distribute Nir Nursery Varieti…

With the agreement, Danziger becomes the exclusive distributor of Nir’s product line, which includes cut flowers, foliage, pot, and garden plants.

Read More

June 14, 2016

Dümmen Orange Expands Its Succulent Offerings Through N…

According to Dümmen Operations Director Kate Santos, succulents are an attractive growth category because of their ease of use, shelf life in stores, drought tolerance, and versatility in application.

Read More
'Osaka' Flowering Cabbage (Sakata Ornamentals)

June 14, 2016

New Cool Season, Vegetable, And Foliage Crops For Fall …

Whether you’re providing pansies and violas to the garden center for fall color or decorative edibles to grace patio containers, consider these 16 varieties for fall crop sales, newly introduced for 2016 and hitting retail in 2017.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]