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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 mean for you and your floral department? This year, you will need to have a greater depth to your offerings than in years past. To capture that younger consumer, you will need the unusual, you will need character, and you will need flowers with personality.

Tulip-03Tulips are loaded with personality and should appeal to consumers of all ages for Valentine’s Day.And I believe no flower has as much personality as a tulip. The way they dance in the vase and adjust to their environment is unparalleled in the flower world. However, for Valentine’s Day a great way to dress up the tulip is to offer large, impressive bunches — 25-stem, 30-stem and even 40-stem bunches pack a huge impact. Adding greens such as sweet huckleberry also contributes an unusual flair that catches the eye, as well as, the heart.

The popularity of fancy tulips, such as Parrot tulips and Crispa tulips is also an opportunity to “wow” consumers at Valentine’s Day. Many shoppers may not even realize that the gorgeous, highly textured and colorful blooms are technically a tulip. Putting these near the aisle is a great way to bring people into the floral department.

A new arrival in the cut flower world with a very unique character is Kalanchoe. It offers a thick carpet of colorful blooms in just a few stems. This flower is technically a succulent, which leads to its stunning vase life. This will appeal to today’s younger consumers who love potted plants and succulents because they typically last much longer than cuts. However, for an occasion such as Valentine’s Day, who wants to show up with a potted plant? Kalanchoe is a wonderful solution to the vase life issue.

Across California, beautiful flowers that represent different Valentine’s Day options are ready to be picked. Diana Roy of Resendez Bros. in San Diego County said, “The flowers grown here at Resendiz Bros. are unique and have lots of interesting meaning. However, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, there are a few flowers in particular that stand out in my mind. For those who understand the language of flowers, waxflower (Chamalaucium) is known as the flower of romance. California bunches are loaded with the dainty, petite blooms with a heavenly scent and they come in hues of white, pink, purple and even some gorgeous bi-colors. Waxflower is perfect mixed with just about any other blooms. Also, the Protea is an amazing diverse group of flowers that are full of texture and very long lasting. They can be found in shades of red, pink and white and various shapes and sizes. Protea’s symbolic meaning represents transformation, daring courage or resourcefulness —qualities that may remind you of your loved one. In addition, there is the trendy and popular Serruria Blushing Bride, so named because men in South Africa on their way to propose to their beloved would wear one in their buttonhole, and everyone in town would know they found their love. Serruria has delicate, papery white and pink petals surrounding feathery tufts of white-to-pink flowers and soft needle-like foliage.”

Since consumers are increasingly more interested in where their flowers come from, this is also a great time to feature domestically-grown offerings. With February being the dead of winter, consumers will be interested to learn that American grown flowers and greens are available year-round from greenhouse growers across the country, not just California.

On Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, make sure your floral department is stocked with farm-fresh flowers that highlight a distinctive mix of blooms, which speak to uniqueness, personality and charm.

Bill Prescott is the marketing communications specialist at Sun Valley Floral Farms in Arcata, CA. He can be contacted at bprescott@tsvg.com.