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When Floral Marketing in The Produce News asked me write an outlook for 2015 from a California flower grower’s perspective, I jumped at the opportunity. Kitayama Bros., located in Watsonville, CA, sees huge possibilities this year because we are Northern California farmers with close proximity and ties to the most technologically advanced and wealthy market in the world — the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay area. There are so many opportunities locally... Read more
This year the California Cut Flower Commission will celebrate 25 years of advocacy and promotion on behalf of California’s flower farmers. At the time the commission was established in 1990, George H.W. Bush was president, Operation Desert Shield was under way, “Law & Order” premiered on NBC, Walmart opened its first store in California and domestic flowers still represented the majority of flowers sold in the United States. Since then, innovation, consumer... Read more
Flower importers are faced with a situation that they have not been faced with in the past. The importers, through the Association of Floral Importers of Florida, are meeting with all the major flower airlines in order to work more closely with the importers’ major partners. The airlines are faced with more products competing for northbound space and less southbound cargo, so things have changed over the years for airline space for flowers. The expiration of the... Read more
Trends are always fluid in that they have no start or end date and the consumer dictates what will be a success. Style trends are defined as a general direction for a period of three to five years, after which a style is considered a classic. Style trends are highly volatile, with many variables, such as socio-economic and cultural design risk. Creative trend elements can include color, texture, form, line and less obvious ones like proportion and scale. When executed... Read more
The year 2014 has been one of many challenges for those who are in the business of distributing fresh flowers in the United States. In short, their costs are higher and their customer base is declining. Global economics have converged to create an environment of higher freight expenses and limited availability of air space for moving flowers from offshore growers to the U.S. Airlines have reduced their capacity for transporting flowers from Colombia and Ecuador... Read more
As we turn the page from 2014 into 2015, the industry will leave a few trends and carry forward some others. In 2015 we’ll see a continued movement away from bright and flashy colors toward more subdued and muted tones. The color scheme for the spring of 2015, as reported in Pantone’s Fashion Color Report, will trend towards more muted colors. Pantone states, “This season there is a move toward the cooler and softer side of the color spectrum. An eclectic, ethereal... Read more
The year 2014 started out hopefully and a bit gingerly; business steadily picked up steam, almost roaring into the second half of the year. Industry segment after industry segment began to realize that full-fledged relief from flat sales could be here to stay. As the calendar turns to 2015, Florida sales across-the-board are solid. Last year proved to be the big turnaround year for Florida’s $15.3 billion nursery and landscape industry and the Florida Nursery,... Read more
Western Global Airlines recently launched a new cargo service from Miami to destinations in South America, according to a news release. Western Global will operate four weekly international cargo flights from Miami International Airport to South America using a fleet of MD-11 freighter aircraft. Western Global, which is the 39th all-cargo airline at the airport, plans to serve the major cargo centers of South America, including Colombia, Miami Airport?s top international... Read more
The Florida Buying Club, International Floral Exchange and F-intelligence were merged and rebranded together as BloomKonnect by a Boston-based private equity firm, according to a news release. Headquartered in Boston, with offices in New Jersey, California, Colombia, India, Hong Kong and London, the company boasts a combined management team with over 300 years of experience in the floral industry. BloomKonnect aims to address inefficiencies in the floral industry... Read more
Nicolaas (Nic) Cathariumus Hofman, age 83, of Crysal International BV, died Dec. 2, according to a news release. A company representative sent the following tribute. “It is with great sadness that we received the news of the sudden passing of our former owner and director. From 1972 to 2014, Nic was a co-owner and director of Chrysal International BV (formerly Pokon & Crysal BV) remaining active within his role. By his inspiring leadership the company was... Read more
Floral industry veteran Cindy Hanauer will work with the United Fresh Produce Association team as an expert strategist for the association and its new Floral Advisory Board to help develop programs and services for members across the floral supply chain, according to a news release. “I am so grateful for United Fresh and its trade show partnership with the International Floriculture Expo, and look forward to working with the association and the new Floral Advisory... Read more
Wreaths Across America set the ambitious goal of honoring all 230,000 veterans at Arlington National Cemetery by placing a fresh evergreen remembrance wreath on each headstone, according to a news release. 2014 marked the 150th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery, the 23rd year Wreaths Across America has placed wreaths there in December and the first year that every veteran’s grave was honored, as well as thousands more across the country. “I’ve always... Read more
Stater Bros. announced in a news release the opening of its first supermarket in Covina, CA. A grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony were held Dec. 10 at the new store, which marks the 26th Stater Bros. supermarket location in Los Angeles County, and Stater Bros. Charities donated nearly $10,000 to local organizations at the ceremony. Jack H. Brown, Stater Bros. chairman and chief executive officer, has always said, “At Stater Bros., we don’t just do business... Read more
The Delaware Valley Floral Group, headquartered in Sewell, NJ, has acquired Montgomery Wholesale Florist, located in Northborough, MA, according to a news release. The customers of Montgomery Wholesale will be served from the DVFlora distribution center located in Shrewsbury, MA. “This acquisition strengthens our commitment in the New England market,” said Ken Wilkins, DVFG’s vice-president of business development, in the release. “We are pleased that all of... Read more
Each year International Floral Distributors, a marketing consortium of 18 flower distributors with over 52 locations in the United States providing flowers and supplies to floral decorators, designers and retailers, forecasts the upcoming year’s flower trends. Floral designers Bill Schaffer and Kristine Kratt, owners of Schaffer Designs in Philadelphia, predict four emerging flower trends and styles for 2015, especially for events and weddings, according to a news... Read more
The international flower trade show World Floral Expo moves from Chicago to Los Angeles and meets at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 11-13. The exhibit hall covers 60,000 square feet, with space for over 200 exhibitors, and organizers are anticipating a full house with a strong California flower grower presence. “The California cut flower industry is thrilled to have WFE in Los Angeles for a variety of reasons,” Michael LoBue, chief executive officer at... Read more
With Valentine’s Day just over a month away, it’s time to get your department and team ready for your most profitable day of the year. Merchandise planning will help streamline display setup as product starts to arrive. The goal should be to create displays throughout the store that entice customers to shop floral. Create your floral displays. This is the holiday to show creative floral talent by building amazing displays. Whether it is using balloons to build... Read more
January is the time of year when most trade publications, e-newsletters and blogs spend considerable time dissecting the prior year’s results. Though I may touch on a few major happenings or trends from 2014, I’m not going to make this the focus of this article. After all, you lived and experienced what happened last year and the national trends I track may not have any bearing on what happened in your particular business in your individual market. Besides, though... Read more
The Florida Nursery, Growers & Landscape Association is expecting over 6,000 visitors at its annual Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition Jan. 21-23 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, FL. More than 400 exhibitors in a live-plant, indoor garden covering 200,000 square feet will greet attendees from the United States and 15 other countries at the 42nd edition of the trade show. “By attending TPIE, I stay on top of my market segment and catch... Read more
It’s hard to believe it has been an entire year since John Niblock passed the baton (or should I say the bouquet?) to me as floral editor and floral sales manager for The Produce News. I want to thank all of the many generous floral professionals I’ve had the pleasure to meet and do business with in 2014, both at industry events and over the phone. Your willingness to share your expertise with me is really heartwarming and something for which I am truly grateful.... Read more