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Juan Diego Ucrós, RoseAmor:

Ecuador: “There is much left to develop in the preserved flower market”

The pandemic has not just led to an increasing demand for fresh flowers and houseplants, the demand for preserved flowers has been on the rise as well. “As people have been stuck at home, many have been opting for long-lasting preserved flowers, instead of going out weekly to buy fresh ones. Two years ago, the US was a very small market for us. Currently, it is our second biggest market,” says Juan Diego Ucrós of RoseAmor. The Ecuadorean company is the biggest producer of preserved roses in the world. “It is still a very new product, and there is much left to develop in the market of preserved flowers.”

Juan Diego Ucrós (left) at the RoseAmor stand at IFTF 2021

A niche market
The company started 20 years ago. Originally, they solely produced fresh flowers, but, over the years, they have completely switched to the luxurious and niche market of preserved flowers, as they saw an interesting potential. “In the beginning, China and Europe were our biggest customers. Yet, since China has started its own preserved flower production, we cannot compete with the local costs for that market. However, the more luxurious brands over there are still using our roses, as they find that our quality is worth it.”

New markets: US and Middle East

While Europe has remained a steadily important market for the preserved flower producers, there are new opportunities that have only recently arisen. “The US has become really important for us, but only since the start of the pandemic. They suddenly started to buy more preserved flowers to an incredible extent. We think that this might have to do with people being stuck at home, and not being able to go out weekly to buy fresh flowers. When getting our preserved flowers instead, they are done for a year with just one purchase.”

There are still developments in other parts of the world as well: “Recently, we have been seeing a lot of interest from the Middle East, which is very exciting. We are aware that this is still a new product that is not yet mainstream. There is much left in the overall preserved flower market to develop, but we are confident that the growth will continue. The luxurious quality, long vase life, and minimum effort are major benefits for the end consumer.”

Ethanol, not methanol
What is it that makes RoseAmor’s flowers unique? “Whereas many producers of preserved flowers use methanol, we use ethanol. This is more expensive, but it is a much cleaner and safer product. In addition, most companies rush the drying process, whereas we take our time and let them dry for five days. When doing this process too quickly, the flowers don’t get the time to stabilize well enough. There are many such details that go into our production that leads to the high quality we have achieved.”

Using more sea freight
As for many companies, one of RoseAmor’s biggest challenges currently is transportation. “It is of course an advantage that we are dealing with preserved flowers instead of perishables, so it is not as big of a problem when shipments are delayed. Our shipments to Europe have been especially delayed so much that some customers have had to wait for almost five weeks to get their order. Therefore, we have started to lean more on sea freight. Whereas we used to use between one and two sea containers per month, this has now grown to 5-6. This does mean, however, that we have to plan ahead more than we are used to. We are used to having regular weekly flights to Europe, so orders could be completed later. Now, we cannot count on that certainty anymore and our orders need to be fully complete.”

For more information:
[email protected]