Which flowers and plants are popular and which less so? How is the coronavirus affecting flower sales? What influence is Brexit having on floriculture exports to the United Kingdom? Extremely useful information for growers and buyers. With our Country Reports, we can respond to the needs of the consumer. Josephine Klapwijk, Commercial Services Consultant at Royal FloraHolland, tells more about this.
"Our Country Reports are published each year in March," says Josephine. "For our most important sales countries, we collate all the market information that is known about the floriculture industry in that country. That begins with general information like demographic facts and economic development. In addition, there is data about the development of floriculture in the country, the consumption of flowers, houseplants and garden plants, the sales channels and the trade flows. Therefore, import and export figures and production figures, as well as which online providers there are. If you do this year in, year out, you can follow the answers and data well. You see, for example, how consumer behavior is changing and a shift in buying patterns."
Coronavirus and Brexit
Have people started buying more flowers or plants and if so which types? Are flowering houseplants more popular or are succulents the trend, which variety is popular and which is declining in popularity? All of these things can be found in the reports. "The coronavirus had a major influence, of course, last year," says Josephine. "The coronavirus crisis affected consumers. Many shops and garden centers had to close their doors, online sales rose and you also saw that people started buying more flowers. For grandma, because they couldn't see her. For home, to make it cozy. More attention was paid to the garden, because a holiday was out of the question for many people. In this way, the coronavirus has advantages and disadvantages."
We will see the figures regarding the consequences of Brexit, another hot topic from 2020, in the data next year. "Brexit entered into force, of course, as of 1 January 2021, but the feeling among consumers had already been evident long before that. Are they keeping a tight hold on the purse strings in England, are they going to produce more themselves, are they going to import more from Africa or Colombia instead of the Netherlands," explains Josephine. She can already say that things seemed to turn out better than expected in 2020. "However, we have seen a shift from flowers to plants. This is probably due to economic reasons: a plant lasts longer than a bouquet of flowers."
The Country Report are not new. Royal Floraholland has been registering the flower and plant purchasing behavior of a consumer panel for almost ten years. That occurs in four or five countries: The Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Germany and an alternating country. In 2020, that was Poland. Every year, 15,000 households per country provide an interesting insight into their purchasing behavior when it comes to flowers, garden plants and houseplants. Josephine: "The panel keeps a record of what they have bought every week. We make analyses and reports based on all the information received. In addition, we also collect data ourselves or purchase it from various external sources. Import and export figures, product figures and retail information in order, for example, to know how many branches chains have."
Next year, Country Reports about four additional countries will be published: Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden. This is happening due to demand from the market. Josephine is happy about that. "It is proof that growers and buyers really benefit from our information. If you know nothing, you also can't determine a targeted strategy for your company. Our Country Reports provide insight into different sales segments. In this way, you explore potential sales markets and, of course, the current market. Due to Brexit, companies are also looking at other sales countries. If exporting to the UK turns out to be difficult and Germany is already saturated, perhaps Eastern Europe or Scandinavia, for example, could be a good new market. It's only a good thing that they continue looking around."
"You can substantiate things with data," says Josephine. I think that it's good to know what's going on in the sales countries. Everyone has a gut feeling, of course, but with properly substantiated information you can look at the future better and determine your strategy. Which market developments are at play is more important now than ten years ago. In 2009, very little was done with this type of information. But that has now developed from nice to know to need to know."
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