China: Affluent middle class leads to more flower sales

Internet consulting company iResearch estimates China's cut-flower e-commerce market expanded from 1.2 billion yuan in 2013 to 12.4 billion yuan in 2017 and is likely to reach nearly 50 billion yuan by 2021.

A large part of this growth is due to the middle class, who are increasingly viewing cut flowers as part of daily life, rather than luxuries for special occasions.

A report this year by Tmall, Alibaba's e-commerce platform, said consumers, especially women, are buying more items for themselves than they have in the past, especially young women.

Tmall's data show that women's consumption of flowers, books, tourism, wire-free bras, flat shoes and other so-called treat-yourself products is continuing to grow significantly.

Mao Haipeng, from the Yunnan Dounan Flower Industry Group, said, "This is part of a natural shift as China's economy has developed and families have started to have more disposable income for items that may have been seen as wasteful in the past."

While some households still grow blooms at home, more are switching to buying cut flowers for their freshness and variety, Mao said.

Read more at the All China Women's Federation (Pan Mengqi)

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