Mark Seguin and Brad Smith on Sakata’s SunPatiens:

“Year after year of consumer satisfaction creates brand loyalty”

Introduced in 2005, SunPatiens of Sakata has enjoyed annual double-digit sales growth. "Their success in the marketplace is directly linked to their success in the garden. Their "full-sun to shade" versatility and exceptional heat tolerance provide consumers and professional landscapers with continuous color from Spring through Autumn with minimum care," explains Mark Seguin Sakata's Senior Global Marketing Manager – Cuttings.

Mark Seguin

What makes SunPatiens so special?
Seguin: "SunPatiens are a unique interspecific hybrid developed by Sakata Seed Corporation under an agreement with the Republic of Indonesia based on the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). There are only a few cases in the world of such an agreement in the category of horticultural plants. In exchange for using the native germplasm that was instrumental in the develop SunPatiens, Sakata pays a share of the SunPatiens royalty proceeds to the Indonesian government and provides breeding support to the Indonesian Ornamental Crops Research Institute (IOCRI). In addition to being a market leader in ornamentals, SunPatiens also represents the commercialization of indigenous plants with integrity."

Compact SunPatiens are the most popular
There are over 30 varieties of SunPatiens offered worldwide, although the assortment varies regionally depending on market needs and environmental conditions, Seguin continues. According to him, the Compact SunPatiens are the most popular, while Vigorous SunPatiens perform well under cooler conditions and in areas where massive color displays are desired. SunPatiens are available in North America, Europe, Brazil, and Asia.

Brad Smith

Great impulse items
And how does it perform at retail? According to Brad Smith, Sakata's Senior Retail and Marketing Category Manager, retailers love SunPatiens for a variety of reasons, "They look great on their shelves at retail. They are great impulse items that can be presented in many different sizes and offerings, from value sizes to beautiful, branded pots and even large ready-to-use planters and hanging baskets. They do not require any special placement in the garden centers because SunPatiens love the shade or full sun! Retailers love SunPatiens because they want to sell their customers products that will work. They know when the consumer purchases a plant that exceeds their expectations, they will not only buy more, they will buy them next year, and the best part, they will also recommend them to their family and friends. A happy customer is a repeat customer and a growing driver for future sales! Retailers want to sell as many plants as possible. They do this by selling great-looking, great-performing plants that drive consumer satisfaction that creates value through the entire supply chain. SunPatiens checks every box a live goods retailer would want to be checked."

Brand loyalty created
And what about the consumers? "Consumers want plants that not only perform for them but perform better than they expected. When a brand overperforms consumer expectations, it grows. As it grows, consumers become loyal. Year after year, consumer satisfaction creates brand loyalty on the part of the consumer. Sometimes in the breeding world, we complicate our messaging and try and create "dialed-in" products with a specific application that will create a beautiful result. In the consumers' world, they want products that deliver for them where they need them to perform. SunPatiens work wherever the consumer uses them. Sun or Shade, Spring, Summer or Fall, in the landscape or in containers or hanging baskets. SunPatiens meets the consumers' need wherever they try them."

Exceeding instead of just meeting expectations
Trust is not given or bought; it is earned, and according to Smith, SunPatiens has earned the right to be one of the most trusted brands (if not the most trusted) brand in all of the live goods. Sakata holds that trust in great reverence and our commitment to refining and improving our SunPatiens will always be driven by our commitment to enhancing the experience for the grower, retailer, and of course, the final consumer. We never aim to never meet our customers' expectations but to exceed them."

Bright future
Smith foresees, as he says, an 'incredibly bright future' for SunPatiens. "Sakata is known for innovation, and Sakata will never stop improving, enhancing, or possibly creating whole new categories for SunPatiens. With uncertain market conditions moving forward, trusted and proven brands, such as SunPatiens, will be even more valuable to both retailers and consumers. The story of SunPatiens has been an incredible ride in the world of ornamentals. A branded flowering annual that consumers know, love, and ask for by name. At Sakata, we believe this ride is just beginning!"

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