European Valentine's Day sales

In several areas in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium, Carnival was celebrated over the past week, but it did not seem to affect the Valentine's Day sales. Veiling Rhein-Maas even had its best "Carnival Monday" since its inception. While the peak period is now over, there is still some work to do for florists. They see traditional red Valentine's products being replaced by colorful bouquets.

Numbers and Carnival
Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated, and for the second time since 2014, it falls on a weekday. Historically speaking sales during weekdays are good, but would Carnival spoil the party? In parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, schoolchildren have a holiday because of the festivities. Still, the traders are generally optimistic: it turns out Carnival is not having as big an impact as expected, with Veiling Rhein-Maas even having the best Carnival Monday since its inception.

Royal FloraHolland

Royal FloraHolland already reported its figures last week, and when comparing them with those of last year, only the number of plants sold has increased: from 20 million to 25 million. The number of flowers sold, 300 million, hasn't changed. And just like last year, roses, tulips and chrysanthemums were most popular.

Consistent sales at Euroveiling - Belgium
According to director Roger Fierens of Belgian auction Euroveiling, their figures are roughly identical to last year's. He had expected Carnival and the holidays to negatively affect sales figures, but that's hardly the case, he says, pointing to the favorable weather. "With 10 cm of snow it would be a completely different story, of course."

During the four main auction days before Valentine's Day (Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday), 2.4 million flowers were auctioned. Like in previous years, roses are the top sellers. "750,000 roses were auctioned - a small increase over last year. The red rose is most popular, followed by white."

Plants, on the other hand, were not so much in demand. That's because Euroveiling mostly supplies large flower stores. "The only plant that does reasonably well this Valentine's Day is the phalaenopsis." Although Euroveiling imports flowers from around the world, the number of Belgian flowers coming up for auction is still considerable. "Around 40 percent of the flowers are grown in Belgium, mainly roses, tulips, amaryllis, alstroemeria, gerbera, standard carnations, bouvardia and anthurium."
 
Best Carnival Monday at Veiling Rhein-Maas - Germany
At Veiling Rhein-Maas in Straelen-Herongen (Germany), Valentine sales started last Thursday, reaching a peak on Monday. Not just any Monday, Carnival Monday. "It was the best Carnival Monday since our inception in 2010. Despite carnival, people still have their sights set on Valentine's Day, it seems," according to the auction. Long-stemmed roses in the classical red color remain most popular, and in terms of plants, ready-made bowls with plants (for indoor use) did particularly well.

Florists: Red or not?
While the Valentine's Day peak is already ending for most auctions, florists have a busy day ahead. And they won't just be selling the classic red rose this year.

One Dutch florist told us: "The red rose still does well, but we're now also focusing on multi-colored bouquets of wildflowers. We notice people often appreciate those more than a bunch of roses."

Another florist says: "The red flowers are down a bit, it's headed more towards pink or colored, because then you get more flowers for your money. Red flowers are still very expensive," she explains. "And by combining various colors, you end up with a nice bouquet for a nice price."

Busy at airports
In the run-up to Valentine's Day many airports were busy with the flower shipments, at Maastrich Aachen airport too. Yesterday, a Dutch newspaper (Algemeen Dagblad) posted a video of the arrival of boxes of flowers at this on their website. The flowers that arrived at this airport were flown in from Nairobi, Kenya. In order to deliver the shipments at the traders as quickly as possible, they employed more people. Per flight around 20 tons of flowers were delivered a the airport and around 200 tons per week. The shipments are loaded on trucks who will deliver it to traders, for 80 percent in the Netherlands and for 20 percent to Germany.

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