"I might better exhibit at a furniture fair instead of a ornamental fair, says Arthur Zwinkels, "because the Ficus - and in particular the Ficus in large pot sizes - can also be considered as a piece of furniture. It all has to do with the perception of the consumer. This consumer spends like 1000 euros on a couch, but for this plant, which has a long shelf life and is available in many different shapes, they do not want to spend a couple of bucks."
Arthur Zwinkels, at the FloraHolland Autumn Fair in Naaldwijk, the Netherlands.
According to Zwinkels, Sales Manager at Fikona, selling the Ficus, and in particular the ones in large pot sizes, is a challange. Too often, consumers are still not noticing this plant. "The first thing that crosses their mind is: 'How do I get this thing home?!'" Zwinkels needs to respond to this first reaction of the consumer. "Ideally, just like other large purchases, there should be the possibility of having them delivered to their place of residence. Just like IKEA for example."
Fikona has a broad assortment of green plants, including the chamaedorea and buxus. The Ficus is a exclusive product and is put on the market with its own 'Regina' label. "This is something that happens not often in plants. These plants are propagated in Costa Rica and the stem arrives at the grower. There, it will get a green head again."
"The market is OK," says Zwinkels. "This is quite usual after summer. People are picking up their normal life again and with the eye on the autumn they are eager to buy a green house plant. The second peak in trade will be right after Christmas. When the Christmas tree leaves their homes, another large plant needs to fill this gap."
In order to stimulate the sales, the growers launched a website: mynewplant.com a couple of years ago. On this webpage, the consumer can find out more information about their purchase and can learn more about the maintenance of the plant. The grower is also active on Twitter. At the moment they are trying to make the consumer realize the value of plants in the home interior. "The Ficus 'Regina' is the Mercedes among the Ficus plants. It is extremely important that this is also recognized by the consumer."
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