The State Of The Poinsettia Market

Selecta's 'Christmas Beauty Pink' poinsettia

Every year, Greenhouse Grower asks its readers to reflect on their poinsettia crops, prices and the overall state of the market. Growers of all sizes responded to our survey, and the results are in for the 2012 season. Here is a look at some of the most notable statistics. For the full whitepaper results, visit GreenhouseGrower.com/February2013.

Poinsettia Production Varied From 2011

While the majority of respondents (42.1 percent) increased poinsettia production overall, the percentage of growers that produced the same number or fewer than last year both clocked in at 28.95.

When it came to novelties, however, 44.74 percent of growers produced the same number over the last two years, with 31.58 percent producing more and 26.38 percent growing fewer plants, respectively.

The number of poinsettias in the dumping pile was stable with 64.7 percent dumping zero to less than 5 percent of their poinsettia crop compared to 69 percent in 2010. Another thing that hasn’t changed is the popular sizes, which continue to be 6 and 6.5 inches.

Grower Impressions Of The Market

We asked growers to give their thoughts on how poinsettias sold for them. While some of the comments differed from what the survey revealed, most respondents were pleased with sales.

“The market was good overall. Smaller sizes, miniatures and 4-inch poinsettias seemed to be extra popular this year.”

“Topiaries and shapes are still our biggest market, though the interest in smaller sizes is greater than our long-standing larger sized topiaries.
“Our sales slowed dramatically the second week in December. Selling pinched poinsettias may or may not be a viable market for our area.”

“It once again sucked.”

“The market is as strong as ever, with more interest in certain novelty varieties. Larger pot sizes are moving faster than in past years.”

“After five or six years of declining numbers and too many plants going to dump, it looks like we are finally going to sell out and may actually look at a small increase next year.”

The Poinsettia Market In Pictures

Greenhouse Grower columnist Jerry Montgomery visited 64 box stores in Florida and Michigan. Here’s a photo journal of some of his findings.

“Black Friday has now turned into Filthy Thursday and is getting old and tired, with the industry featuring a $0.99 poinsettia that, in some cases, may not be worth that price. Prices have not changed much since last year, and clearly, creativity has not improved. Where is the innovation?”

“The noticable bright spot was the continuing improvement of product quality and assortment at Walmart. Walmart also had some interesting novelties positioned for their customer base such as Santa’s boots with 8-inch poinsettias that retailed for $12.98. Sam’s Club offered some interesting new items this season, including a 12-inch, square terrarium with ivy and a poinsettia. This item retailed for $22.98.

“There are vast differences in the amount of glue and glitter used amongst retailers. It appears some vendors just don’t understand the amount of glitter it takes to make a compelling look. There is also a vast difference in the appearance of glittered plants depending on the shade of red. The dark reds are not nearly as attractive as the lighter reds.”

The Price Of Premium Poinsettias

Parks Brothers’ Jason Parks explains poinsettia pricing, the plant’s target demographic and his view of the future market.

“I feel the poinsettia market is declining for independent garden centers and shifting to the chain stores. For 2012, I think the poinsettia market was flat or decreased slightly. For 2013, I think it will remain flat, plus or minus 5 percent. I believe the economic and political environment was detrimental to poinsettia sales, and I believe it will continue to affect sales for at least another year.

“The market for premium poinsettias is shrinking fast as the younger members of our target demographic enter the poinsettia market. In my opinion, 90 percent of all end consumers that buy, or even look at, poinsettias do not know what a nice poinsettia is supposed to look like and balk at buying the higher-priced poinsettias in the independent garden centers (and at chain stores, too).

“To them, there is not enough perceived value in a $20 to $30 10-inch poinsettia compared to a decent-looking $3.99 6-inch poinsettia. They can buy five to seven for the same amount of money and get twice the bang for their bucks.

“This is what makes the chain store poinsettias more popular than those at the independent garden centers. Yes, there are a lot of independents selling premium poinsettias and doing OK to very well with this plant. I am glad they are doing it, and I hope they can keep it up. I hope they call me if they need more poinsettias. However, they are never going to match the volume and pricing the chain store command, which is the poinsettia market price baseline. When you add in the chains using them as loss leaders, there is absolutely no way independent garden centers can compete.

“I believe we are near the end of a major transition of the poinsettia market to chain stores. I also believe that this transition will level off in the next few years. The chains will control the majority of the poinsettia market (if they don’t already), and we will see a lot of independents cut back to very few or no poinsettias, while a small percentage will continue with a niche premium poinsettia market they either grow themselves or have contract grown to their specifications.”

Selecta Breeds Its Poinsettias For Grower Convenience

For Gary Vollmer, who has been growing poinsettias for most of his adult life, excellence in breeding is an important part of growing the poinsettia market and keeping it profitable for growers.

Growers are choosing the varieties that provide the higher yields,” says Vollmer, technical support manager for Selecta Poinsettia. “The breeding is going in the directrion of better shelf life. Growers are reducing shrink on the greenhouse floor and at retail, which is a very healthy direction to go.”

Vollmer says Selecta is following breeding trends that began in Europe and are now moving into the U.S.

“[In Europe] they basically shifted the poinsettia market into a little bit smaller product, and the expectations of shelf life and yield are much higher,” he says.

“Another technique that is huge in Europe and is really gaining ground in North America is finding poinsettias that can be grown cool, cutting the heating bill. It’s an outstanding strategy. Some growers have gone into this in a very big way.

“There’s one large grower who produces more than one million poinsettias. They focus all of their red poinsettia production in cool houses, and they’re talking about saving more than a quarter of a million dollars. We’re not going to bring forward anything — especially reds — that will not be very happy at cooler temperatures.”

Vollmer says Selecta’s breeding efforts are focused on  what works for the grower. Besides the ability to be grown cool, cultivars that eventually make it to market must have an excellent branching habit (important for shipability) and a long shelf life.

“A lot of varieties we look at don’t get a chance to progress if they don’t do really well at postharvest,” Vollmer says.

‘Christmas Day,’ a medium-vigor, mid-season dark red, has been the backbone of Selecta’s poinsettia crop.

“It works very well in a 6-inch pot and, as we’ve seen in the last two years, in that large Costco pot as well,” Vollmer says. “Another variety coming on really strong for us is ‘Christmas Beauty.’ It’s outstanding in the Midwest and South. In warmer areas it finishes full size, and it’s really beautiful. We have a strong family behind it — a pink and a very interesting novelty called ‘Nostalgia,’ which has a greenish background with a marble pattern. There’s a lot of strong stuff coming out of the Beauty series.”

‘Christmas Joy,’ an early-season, medium-vigor red, is a introduction for 2013. Vollmer says it is well-suited for weeks 46 to 47 in the Thanksgiving time frame. “It has really, really high uniformity, deep branching, great roots and great postharvest — all the things that make a great grower variety,” he says.
‘Christmas Glory is another 2013 introduction and is designed for Black Friday sales. As an early-season, low-vigor red, it’s targeted to high-density 4-, 5.5- or 6-inch production.

New cultivars in trials this year include a series with the working name Candy Store, which features unique, very bright colors.

“We have one that’s almost a hot watermelon pink color — very intense,” Vollmer says. “Another one is a really  rich, creamy pink with some freckles on it. It’s a beautiful color, very luxurious. And we even have a lime green. It’s an early season, high-yield variety. I don’t know if it’s strong enough to take off, but I have shown it to some chainstore and grocery buyers. They like the concept of pushing the envelope — especially early in the season. All the Candy Store varieties are excellent grower varieties as well. If it isn’t going to work for the grower and be a good production variety, it’s never going to be part of our program.”

Topics:

Leave a Reply

More From Blooming Potted Plants...
Bill Lewis grower manager at Delray Plants

August 31, 2015

Delray Plants Takes Preventative Approach To Pest Control With Biological Controls

The 300-acre nursery in Venus, Fla., has made biologicals its first line of control when dealing with pests.

Read More
Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation logo

August 31, 2015

Gloeckner Foundation Awards 15 Research Grants

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation recently awarded 15 grants totaling $149,776. Fred C. Gloeckner had a keen interest and firm resolve to facilitate innovation and improve practices in floriculture. It was this vision that inspired him to start The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, Inc. 55 years ago. Since the foundation’s inception, more than 66 institutions have been awarded grants for this purpose, and the foundation’s support of floriculture research has totaled $6,525,642. The following grants were recently awarded: $14,000 – Kansas State University, to study the effect of the entomopathogenic fungus, Beauveria bassiana and the rove beetle, Dalotia coriaria, in suppressing populations of the western flower thrips, Frankliniella occidentalis $12,264 – North Carolina State University, for expanding leaf tissue nutritional standards in bedding plants $12,000 – University of Florida, to illuminate Lilium floral fragrance $11,842 – Stephen F. Austin State University, for its herbaceous perennial species trial garden $10,000 – Iowa […]

Read More
Feature image The 2015 Perennial Plant Of The Year, Geranium x cantabrigiense ‘Biokovo.’

August 27, 2015

The Perennial Plant Association’s Regional Symposium Will Be This October In Dallas

The Perennial Plant Association plans to hold its Regional Symposium October 5 in Dallas, Texas, in conjunction with the All-America Selections/Home Garden Seed Association's Summer/Fall Summit held October 5 to 8.

Read More
Latest Stories
Cayman

August 17, 2015

21 New Blooming Potted Plants For Trouble-Free Greenhou…

Blooming potted plants brighten up almost any occasion. With new colors and an abundance of blooms, these 21 new introductions add a unique, finishing touch to even the most diversified crop mix. Here are 21 new varieties available in 2015 that will hit retail in 2016.

Read More
2014 Poinsettia Season Report

March 18, 2015

Download Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Poinsettia Seas…

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish. Greenhouse Grower’s 2014 Poinsettia Survey received 143 responses from growers around the country. Here, you can download the complete results of the survey, by filling out the form.

Read More

March 17, 2015

16 New Blooming Potted Plants You’ll See At The 2…

Blooming potted plants are perfect gift items, and they put the finishing touch on any style of home decor. So when new varieties come on the market, growers and retailers alike take note of plants they know are going to make consumers happy. Check out the slideshow to see some of the new blooming potted plants making their debut to the trade this spring.

Read More

February 17, 2015

Poinsettias Had Their Best Year In Many In 2014

Poinsettia growers report a strong year in 2014, thanks to a few conditions. Growers were encouraged by high plant quality, enthusiastic shoppers and a stronger, less saturated market for poinsettias throughout the selling season. Seasonal cold at just the right time put consumers in a festive mood to buy early and often, and with no big snowstorms to hold up shipments and a reduction of supply available in the market, the season was strong from start to finish.

Read More

January 28, 2015

Holiday Plant Trends And New Varieties

Growers had mixed feelings about the 2014 poinsettia season according to Greenhouse Grower's 2014 Poinsettia Survey. Read about their plans for 2015 and stay up to date on 14 of the newest cyclamen and poinsettia varieties on the market.

Read More
Poinsettia 'Charon Red'

January 6, 2015

Dan Schantz Farm 2014 Poinsettia Trial Recap And 2015 D…

The 2014 Dan Schantz Poinsettia trials featured more than 170 poinsettia varieties. Here's a summary of the event, as well as a 2015 date for your calendar.

Read More

December 29, 2014

Suntory Makes Spirits Bright With Princettia Displays

Suntory Flowers started to introduce its varieties to sister company Beam Suntory by collaborating on a holiday interiorscape featuring Princettia at Beam Suntory's offices in Deerfield, Ill., near Chicago.

Read More

November 25, 2014

Poinsettia Sales Kick In For 2014

Poinsettias are showing up in big box store ads, as well as at independent retail stores. Here's a look at how prices are shaping up for 2014.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University of Florida Poinsettia Trials Will Be Held De…

Poinsettia trials event at the University of Florida will be held on December 9 in Gainesville, Fla.

Read More

November 14, 2014

University Of New Hampshire Hosts 2014 Poinsettia Trial…

The University of New Hampshire will host 2014 Poinsettia Field Trial Open House at its Macfarlane Greenhouses facility on December 4 to 6.

Read More

September 9, 2014

16 Flowering Potted Plants For Every Occasion [Slidesho…

Flowering potted plants are no longer just traditional annual varieties that one buys at the grocery store for a gift. Check out 16 of the newest varieties to hit the market.

Read More

August 12, 2014

Suntory Flowers Partners With Dümmen Group For New Prin…

Suntory Flowers announces the formation of a new rooting network for Princettia euphorbias. Growers now have a choice of what inputs they would like to receive.

Read More

June 26, 2014

California Spring Trials: 20 Potted Plants For 2015 [Sl…

With plants for every use from decorating the kitchen table to gifts to patio containers, breeders are honing in on consumer demand for more variety in potted plant options. Here are 20 new varieties to integrate into your crop mix.  

Read More

March 12, 2014

2013 Poinsettia Cultivar Evaluation From The Ohio State…

The Ohio State University and AmericanHort collaborates on a poinsettia rating project that aims to inform growers about the differences between consumer and grower preferences on new poinsettia cultivars.

Read More

February 4, 2014

11 Pretty New Poinsettias [Slideshow]

Poinsettias are the signature plant of the holiday season. Here are new varieties to consider adding to your crop selection for premium holiday crop sales.      

Read More
Chrysanthemum 'Hilo Tangerine' from Syngenta/Yoder

September 25, 2013

6 New Chrysanthemums For 2013

Here are six new chrysanthemums varieties to brighten up your fall sales.  

Read More

August 9, 2013

Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part Three

Gerbera ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ (from Syngenta Flowers)Cartwheel gerbera have large, semi-double flowers that add a sense of novelty and value. The new ‘Cartwheel Strawberry Twist’ comes in shades ranging from buttery yellow with a hint of pink to a deep strawberry with a hint of yellow. These bold colors will capture immediate attention at retail.      

Read More

August 9, 2013

Blooming Potted Plants You Should Know: Part Two

1-2 Punch Poinsettia Combo (from Ecke)This show-stopper is a great way to offer customers something different utilizing well known, easy-to-grow varieties. 1-2 Punch is a combination of ‘Ice Punch’ and ‘Sparkling Punch’ using two plants of each variety in an 8-inch container.  

Read More