Almost 30 percent of consumers expect to spend less on flowers and plants in the next six months. In contrast to a similar survey in May this year, a proportion of frequent flower and plant buyers now also say they are more pessimistic about their financial situation and are adjusting their choices accordingly. With the exception of millennials, who actually say they want to buy more flowers and plants. This is according to an online survey by the market research agency Motivaction commissioned by Bloemenbureau Holland. In October, the bureau investigated the influence of current inflation on consumers' purchasing behavior in Germany, France, the UK, and the Netherlands.
Since the first measurement in May this year, inflation in the Netherlands rose from around 9 percent to 14.3 percent in October. Inflation also continued to rise in other countries during that period. To understand its effect on expected purchasing behavior, the survey was repeated in the last week of October. From a representative sample, 1,666 consumers in the four countries surveyed completed the online questionnaire.
One-third expect purchasing power to fall
The continued rise in inflation is making a large group of consumers concerned about their own financial circumstances. One-third (34 percent) had already experienced a worsening situation in the past six months, and 34 percent reckon this will still happen in the next six months. 42 percent of respondents do not expect any deterioration in that period. In contrast, for 14 percent, finances have actually improved, and 16 percent expect an improvement in the next six months. Percentages that have decreased fractionally since the May measurement.
Millennials go for more flowers and plants
The group saying they will buy more flowers remains almost the same as in May; 12 percent for themselves and 13 percent for someone else. Compared to May, a larger group of consumers expects to buy fewer flowers for themselves (29% now, 20% in May). And flowers are also expected to be bought less as gifts (26% now, 18% in May). House and garden plants show similar percentages on all questions.
In contrast to the May measurement, part of the group of frequent buyers (the Aesthetic Explorers) is now also more pessimistic about their current and future financial situation. They say they will buy fewer flowers and plants. This is different for the millennials (born between 1980 and 1995). Instead, they expect to give more flowers as gifts and buy more house and garden plants for themselves or for someone else.
More nuanced picture
According to Ruurd Hielkema, senior researcher at Motivaction, there is every reason to continue campaigns for flowers and plants. "We know from other studies that they have a positive effect on consumers' perception and purchase intention. The research results together give a more complete picture."
Following the Trend Collection campaign in May and the Bedankt Plant (Thanks Plant) campaign in October, the subsequent consumer surveys also included questions to gauge the effects of inflation on buying behavior. Respondents in the campaign surveys are clearly more positive when it comes to their financial future and spending on flowers and plants. They thus nuance the results of the latest inflation survey.
According to Hielkema, this shows two things. "It makes a difference in which context you ask consumers about what inflation does to their buying behavior. After seeing an expression from the Bedankt Plant campaign, for example, they are clearly more positive than in the recent inflation survey. In addition, we also know that flowers and plants do not top the list of personal savings items. In the top 10, groceries, which include flowers and plants in most cases, come in at position nine. Energy costs, eating out, and weekends away top that list. So every reason to keep up the campaigns."
The full report is available. For questions, contact Monique Kemperman, campaign manager, at email@example.com.