Anastasios Kalantzis, Kalantzis Plants, on high demand, expansion and digital marketing

Greece: “Our plants are about the senses: vision, smell, touch and sometimes even taste”

With the cancellation of in-person events, Kalantzis Plants, a Greek growing company focused on breeding, young plants and finished products, has been able to improve their digital marketing. Anastasios Kalantzis, Production Manager, explains that the demand for their plants is so high they are currently working on orders for 2023 and expanding their company. They managed to improve their marketing, while dealing with several challenges, such as selling their plants, which are about the senses, through photos and the supply issues they have had to deal with.


Anastasios Kalantzis 

Improvement of digital marketing
With the cancellation of in-person events, being limited to digital marketing has been challenging for Kalantzis. “Marketing our flowers over the telephone or a Zoom call is not an efficient way for us to do it. Our plants are all about the senses: vision, smell, touch and even taste is sometimes involved. You cannot broadcast these senses and have someone fully experience them. While showing a new variety in a video can inspire the viewer, it is not possible to get the full experience. For example, most of our new Anigozanthos varieties have an iridescence to them, when the light hits the flower there are different tones of purple. This color shifting is something you cannot capture in a photo, which makes it difficult to promote when we can’t showcase it in person. We are very passionate about our flowers and we want people to experience them in person. Yet as a result, we have been able to improve on our digital marketing, and inspire our customers much better virtually than we used to.”


Anigozanthos 

Orders for 2023
Concerning the demand, these past two years have been a rollercoaster for Kalantzis Plants, and they are still facing unique circumstances. “In March 2020, we were facing the unknown, as we had to deal with cancellations of growers and retail venues closing down. In May 2020 everything suddenly changed and we experienced a sudden rise in demand, with more orders than we could handle. Fortunately, we are currently back on track. Pre-orders are still high but we are able to manage it now, as we are now accepting orders much earlier than we used to. For example, at the moment we are working on orders for 2023, which is something unique for us.”

Different regions, different demand
While the demand for their plants is high in general, Kalantzis does notice a difference per region. “At the moment, the general demand is very high, as people’s gardens have been the safest place to be for everyone. As a result, people buy plants to make their gardens look more beautiful. Yet we do notice that the demand is slightly different depending on the location. For Northern Europe we have an unexpected and later demand, as the weather is finally getting better there and people want flowers to brighten up their gardens. For other countries, such as Greece, the demand is relatively normal compared to 2019 for example, as the COVID-19 measures have now become loosened and people are increasingly going out again.”

Supply issues
Whereas the demand has been positive, Kalantzis explains that getting the supplies has been challenging and expensive. “It has been a challenge that the supply chain is not working the way we were used to before 2020. Because of the lack of materials we need to pre-order many months in advance. And then the recent Suez Canal issue did not help either, as containers with supplies were stuck and slowed everything down even more. Moreover, the costs of materials such as substrates, pots and plastic are much higher than they used to be.”

Expansion and future plans
Despite the challenges, Kalantzis Plants built a new nursery last December and are adding more in the near future. “We are making our new unit of 1.7 hectare complete with an additional nursery next September 2021. We are also noticing a need for more outdoor testing fields, so we hope to add another hectare of outdoor production by the end of this year. We are a young and ambitious company and we want to keep growing.”

For more information:
Kalantzis Plants
Anastasios Kalantzis
anastasios@kalantzisplants.com 
www.kalantzisplants.com  

 





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