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As the “Harvey Weinstein Effect” sweeps across the United States, there have been numerous daily revelations concerning sexual misconduct in the workplace. The floral industry will no doubt be impacted by this phenomenon in the New Year as the nation experiences a groundswell of demand for widespread cultural change. And as change management professional Kellee O’Reilly pointed out in her open letter to the green industry, “No, we are not immune … but I believe... Read more
Eco-chic and nature expected to remain hardgood trends
As 2017 comes to a close, two main hargood trends are not ready to go out with the calendar year. In fact, eco-chic and environmentally inspired products are strengthening and looking to dominate 2018 for all seasons. Eco-chic — the eco-friendly back-to-nature trend — is expected to continue to gain traction and new audiences. Millennials are especially enamored with this environmentally inspired movement as they are committed to the sustainable lifestyle it represents. ... Read more
A steep decline in traditional floral retailing is presenting opportunities for mass-market retailers to more aggressively move into the floral sales space. So how and where should the mass-market retail floral supply chain focus their efforts to seize that opportunity? New research from the Produce Marketing Association reveals emerging short-term trends and their implications to help the industry gain perspective and prepare for the future. The report, titled... Read more
Industry outlook: A crystal ball is as clear as mud
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could rely on a crystal ball to assist us in the development of our business strategies? Despite my almost 40 years in both sides of the supermarket floral industry —and knowing that a crystal ball would be about as clear as mud — I reached out to former colleague Debora Coleman, vice president of floral at Albertsons Co. and chair of the PMA Floral Council, to gain her insight into what she believes 2018 will bring to the floral industry.... Read more
Miami importers stronger than ever
Last year certainly was an interesting one, with many challenges that were not anticipated. There were several weather issues that affected the floral industry throughout the United States and Hurricane Irma in particular for Miami importers. This hurricane was predicted to be a powerful Category 5 storm so everyone in South Florida boarded up and prepared for the worst. Fortunately, it was not as strong as predicted. Some flower importers were without phone... Read more
Design trends in Maine may not sell in Tucson
Trends in our world of consumerism are becoming more fluid and they are also not the same in each region of the United States. Buyers hopefully realize this because it’s an important fact to keep in mind when planning your 2018 buying strategy. We have so many good trend watch reports out there but what sells in Maine may not sell in Tucson, so remember to interpret the information in relation to your customers’ needs and wants. The general trend theme I see in... Read more
New growth, new ideas & increasing demand for American Grown Flowers
Last November, I celebrated my 10th anniversary at the California Cut Flower Commission. Over the past decade, not a day has gone by that hasn’t felt purposeful or rewarding while serving California’s flower farmers. As we look forward to the things to come in this New Year, I can’t help but look back on all of the history, challenges and changes that have taken place in our industry in the past 10 years. I’ve heard it said that “where you are right now in life... Read more
SAF looks forward with cautious optimism
The Society of American Florists is looking forward to 2018 with cautious optimism. Anecdotally, we know from a roundtable discussion during the fall board of directors meeting that many businesses were having a stable to a very strong year. An SAF Economic Outlook survey supports this — conducted in July among SAF members at the end of the second quarter, about half were optimistic about 2017 sales and another 14 percent were very optimistic. Couple that with... Read more
Personalization is a trend you can trust
Every year, in every segment of every industry, some poor soul is asked to take on the dreaded task of developing a trend report. It used to be a reasonable and a low risk assignment and back in the day, the chance of inaccurately prognosticating was rather slim. It took so long for trends to play out; there was ample time for forecasters to amend their crystal ball to more closely match the ever-evolving desires of our consumers. But the days of being an expert... Read more
The 2018 Tropical Plant International Expo will take place Jan.16-19 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Below is a schedule of events.  Tuesday, Jan. 16 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration Open 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. TPIE Road Show & Education-on-the-Go Classroom Sessions 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. TPIE Road Show & Education-on-the-Go Tours Wednesday, Jan. 17 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Registration Open 8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. TPIE Welcome Orientation 9... Read more
Pantone announces 2018 Color of the Year – Ultra Violet
During the current climate of political divisiveness in the United States, Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year — Ultra Violet — shows us what is truly possible. Pantone hopes the blue and red, the colors used to designate America’s liberal and conservative politics, can become a more harmonious purple, according to a news release. “It’s the most complex of all colors because it takes two shades that are seemingly diametrically opposed — blue and red — and brings them... Read more
KB Farms marks 70 years of growing flowers; implements new operating plan
In 2018, Kitayama Bros, Inc. will be 70 years old and this marks the right time to implement a new operating plan. We have examined the floral market, the competition, our assets and our risk tolerance and we realize that business as usual will not work. KB Farms is about 250 acres of prime agricultural land and two million square feet of greenhouse overlooking Monterey Bay in the Pajaro Valley of Santa Cruz County, CA. We grow gerbera daisies, oriental and Asiatic... Read more
Florida greens growers predict Valentine’s Day leatherleaf shortage
Florida greens farmers are putting out a message to the floral industry: Two major hurricanes in the span of 11 months has been too much for the farms to bear, according to a news release. As the growers hustle to mitigate damage, and protect current and future product, retail florists should expect a very tight supply of leatherleaf for Valentine’s Day. “Leatherleaf supplies are at their lowest levels in 30 years,” said Jana Register, director of sales and marketing... Read more
Finally – the next big, red rose?
“The wait has Finally ended” is the slogan for the new red rose variety “Finally” from United Selections, according to a news release. It is being produced commercially in Colombia and Ecuador and has been well received by growers and also by buyers in the United States and Europe. ‘Finally,’ a new red velvet rose variety from Dutch breeder United Selections, has been well received by growers and buyers for its value and performance.United Selections, a rose breeder... Read more
Ball SB introduces  odorless limonium variety
Many limonium hybrid varieties have a natural tendency to give off an ugly smell when high temperatures hit them. Therefore, the demand for this variety decreased in the 1990s — until now, according to a news release. Lourdes Reyes, marketing director at Ball SB, holds the new odorless limonium variety, Skylight, at the November International Floriculture Trade Fair in Vijfhuizen, the Netherlands. After 10 years of breeding, selecting and testing, Ball SB has... Read more
I recently read yet another obituary that stated, “In lieu of flowers, send memorials to...” Why do people de-value the emotional importance and role that flowers play in the grieving process? Funeral flowers are usually sent because people care and they want to comfort grieving survivors. Flowers are an emotional representation of beauty and sympathy; they are a visible expression of support that research proves creates a positive impact on the emotional... Read more
Supermarket floral comes of age at PMA Fresh Summit
new orleans — The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, here, was swarming with over 19,500 members of the produce and floral industries Oct. 19-21 at the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit. The three-day event was filled with hundreds of brightly colored booths and people dressed in costumes reminiscent of Mardi Gras competing for the attention of buyers and other industry professionals. In the past, the Fresh Summit’s main focus seemed... Read more
Dwight Larimer inducted  into MFF Hall of Fame
Floral industry members gathered last month to honor Dwight Larimer at his induction into the Michigan Floral Foundation Hall of Fame, according to a news release. The dinner event was held the University Club at Michigan State University in East Lansing, MI. Dawn Larimer, Dwight Larimer, MFF Hall of Fame 2017 inductee, and Bob Patterson, Michigan Floral Foundation chairman. For over 40 years, Larimer has contributed to the success of many floral organizations... Read more
Valentine surprises are a given, and I don’t mean the kind wrapped in a robin’s-egg-blue box with a bow. I’m thinking more along the lines of tornadoes, blizzards or freezing rain events shutting down highways and airports around the country. You can bet that Miami importers are closely monitoring weather in Colombia and Ecuador, knowing well that freezing night temperatures in December and/or prolonged cloudy days in January determine the success... Read more
Consumers want flowers with personality for Valentine’s Day
For Valentine’s Day 2018, consumers from Generation X, Millennials and Generation Z will be looking for flowers with a different persona than Baby Boomers. These buyers aren’t set in tradition and they don’t buy the same flowers every time they walk into a floral department. They like to explore while making their own creations; they like their flowers to speak to the uniqueness of their relationship, and not stand on ceremony. What does this... Read more