Opportunities to boost your plant business

19-05-2020    15:11   |    Greenhouse Grower

The spring season, specifically from early March (based on when Easter falls) through Mother’s Day, is certainly the most chaotic and challenging time of year for the floral industry. That was true even before the coronavirus pandemic which, depending on your location, has presented its own unique set of challenges.

But opportunities lie ahead, many of them as soon as this summer. That was the outlook presented by panelists during the Produce Marketing Association’s weekly Virtual Town Hall and Floral Industry discussions on May 13.

What are some of these opportunities? Here are a few of them that came out of the discussion (note that individual speakers in these forums cannot be quoted directly).

  • Immunity-boosting products. Are you growing products such as blueberries, citrus, or other foods that boast antioxidants or other health benefits tied to better immunity? If not, it’s something you should consider. More than ever, understandably, consumers are on the lookout for food that can help them ward off susceptibility to life-threatening diseases.
  • Plant-based meat substitutes. In a similar vein, are any of the plants you produce suitable for use in plant-based meat substitutes? With beef quantities being limited, consumers may be looking for alternatives.
  • E-commerce. Reports from floral department managers are that the potential for digital sales continues to grow, both from an efficiency standpoint and from a safety standpoint. “E-commerce likely won’t pass the experience of personal shopping, but will be a part of the mix,” one panelist said. “However, we will need to be more conscious of whether our infrastructure system can support it, especially as air shipments become more limited.”
  • Increased sales of premium products. Mother’s Day week wound up performing much better than expected, according to several floral managers in the discussion. One even noted that people bought more expensive items than they may have in the past, which could be a good sign if pent-up consumer demand takes off once more garden and plant retail locations open their doors.
  • A reason to celebrate. The floral managers in the discussion were very optimistic regarding the next few months. “We and our customers want to celebrate life this summer, and with fewer vacations and more stay-cations planned, we expect the summer to be huge for us.”
  • A message of empathy. “Show your support for those who have lost their jobs and may not be able to afford to buy a lot of flowers or fresh produce,” one panelist said. “For those directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, showing empathy can help establish your brand.”

Source and Photo Courtesy of Greenhouse Grower

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