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Growers' vision on product competitions:

"The consumer is not standing next to the plants with a laptop to see if they meet the right specifications"

Floriade Expo 2022 in Almere, the Netherlands, gives the horticultural sector as a whole a stage, but also individual growers. For example, they can enter product competitions. But how do growers themselves actually view these competitions, in which not only a jury but also the consumer is involved in judging? Jolanda Nieuwenhuijze of Dutch nursery De Hoog Orchids gives us her perspective.

Their pot orchid Dendobrium nobile 'Sunny Eyes' received the highest score from consumers in its category. Jolanda: "We were also awarded a prize by the professional jury, namely third place, good for bronze, but on the other hand the public, so ultimately the consumer, made a very different choice from the wide selection of products they had. In the end that is what it is all about, at least that is our opinion."

Photo right: the prize-winning pot orchid from De Hoog Orchids

Too critical
People in the industry often look at the products offered far too critically, according to Jolanda. "It always has to be perfect. A product can't have spots or a small damage on the leaf, it must have a perfect occupation of flowers and leafs, with everything on the same height, thickness, maturity, and so on. In short, it has to be exactly as described and like the photo of what exists digitally on supply platforms like Floriday."

However, the consumer doesn't think like that at all, Jolanda notices. "They don't stand with a laptop next to the plants to see if they meet the right specifications, if they have endured years of development, if the flowers are the same size or if the length is 45 cm instead of 60 cm."

Surprise about customer choice
No, the purchases of the plants and flowers are (still) mainly made by women who are doing the shopping, she says. "They fall in love with that plant, that one flower or that bouquet and do not pay attention to the specifications, which is a fairly unknown world for them."

"Once the consumer has made the purchase decision, which seems to happen within one second, they look in the range of that particular choice and pick out that plant that they like best. The following customers do the same and it happens quite often that we as a grower or specialist retailer are surprised by the fact that the customer really does not choose the plant that is closest to the correct specifications, so almost perfect as if it were no longer a natural product."

De Hoog Orchids, just like Evanty, Freshcap and Antogether Bouman, received the first prize from the consumers who were allowed to choose from the same products as the traders. Jolanda: "It gave a totally different picture, but we are happy with the compliments of our target group!"

The prize-winning growers in the categories exotics, cutanthurium, pot orchid and pot anthurium

For more information: 
Jolanda Nieuwenhuijze 
De Hoog Orchids
T: +31 (0) 15 2620429
[email protected]
[email protected]