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Jean-Yves Coulbault, Sicamus:
It's (almost) all in the name
Jean-Yves Coulbault at the MyPlant & Garden 2018
Sicamus has been growing half-finished hydrangeas in France for over 70 years, but entered breeding relatively recently; about 12 years ago. "Over the years, we noticed a decreasing demand for the classic varieties, so we decided to breed our own, special, varieties", says JY Coulbault. These own-bred varieties are included in the Rendez-vous collection.
The demand for new varieties is rising, and they are therefore increasing the production year after year. "We increase our production of new varieties by about 10-20 percent a year and decrease the production of classic varieties with the same percentage."
Every year, they are expanding the Rendez-vous collection with one or two varieties. But before putting them in the catalog, it needs to have a name. It might sound easy to name a variety, but according to JY Coulbault, it is quite a time-consuming process. "We supply our half-finished hydrangeas all over the world, so a good selection of names is important. Some names in the collection that are understandable worldwide are Cocktail, Elégance, Romantique and La vie en rose."
Anda good name seems to create enthusiasm among growers as well. "La vie en rose, for example, is a beautiful hydrangea. We have growers who are growing this product, just because of the name of the product."
Sicamus is eager to transfer the enthusiasm of their growers to the growers' consumers. So over the last years, Sicamus has been working hard to discover ways to let their growers better market their products and in turn increase sales. Recently, they introduced the so-called 'Deko Pots' which they (can) supply with their half-finished hydrangeas, and it seems to be a valuable marketing addition to their own bred hydrangeas.
The Deko Pot is a 5 liter printed pot, which does not only allow growers to sell their hydrangeas earlier in the season (as we explained in a previous article), it also enables them to market their product even better. According to JY Coulbault, the combination of a clean printed pot and a catchy name has the potential to lift the grower's sales even further. "The pot is printed with the name of the collection and the name of the variety." During the trials that we conducted over the last year, we have seen that this combination not only lets the consumer buy the products earlier in the season, it generated impulsive purchases as well."
The 5 liter pots are available in several designs, consisting of three of their collections - Rendez Vous, Dutch Ladies, and You and Me - and the more classic pots, that have a blue, white, red or pink flower on the pot.
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