"Demand for our hydrangeas was high, but pre-bookings came in late, and production was a challenge", says Catalina Arango of Flores Del Este when reflecting on Valentine's Day 2023. The hydrangea is not the typical Valentine's Day flower, but since the pandemic, they have seen the demand increase for their flowers during this holiday. Even though they still ship some Valentine's Day flowers on request these days, the big rush is over.
Increasing demand for hydrangeas
Valentine's Day is not the main holiday of Flores Del Este, but they have seen the demand rise. But what could be the reason? Arango; "During the pandemic, we've seen more people buying flowers for everyday use, and I think that love has transformed and that more people are now giving flowers to friends and family for Valentine's Day also. And these new generations may also look for new and other colors and different flower types. We, for example, saw a high demand for the whites, antiques in reds, greens, and mini hydrangeas."
The production has been the main challenge, explains Arango. "The production was 24% lower compared to a normal week. And the hydrangeas came early at the beginning of January." The bottleneck was the weather. "We had three weeks without rain, so we had to water the plants manually, which means 10 more people than usual. Fortunately, it was easier to find people than during Christmas, and we could supply all our clients with the quality they are used to."
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CI Global Exchange, the name of the company, is one of the largest hydrangea growers in Colombia, shipping their Flores Del Este branded flowers worldwide. "According to statistics, the company is ranked the sixth largest hydrangea exporter in Colombia, but we are the only one that consists of one farm at one location, with one family owner." For this Valentine's Day, the Flores Del Este hydrangeas go to the US, Qatar, India, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, the UK, South Korea, Canada, Taiwan, Spain, and Italy. The Valentine's shipments traditionally start around January 25 and run till February 4.
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Flores Del Este