The clock is ticking for those of you planning to celebrate the upcoming Valentine’s Day with fresh cut flowers – and you need to talk to that florist sooner versus later. That’s the advice of Kate Penn, Chief Executive Officer of the Society of American Florists. In a conversation with Pam Jahnke, Penn said that the pandemic upended the fresh cut business for a while in 2020, but many florists have been able to adjust and rebound in 2021.
Penn said that consumers should know about 75% of fresh cut flowers come from outside the United States. That means securing some of those exotic (and less exotic) blooms will take time and coordination. Penn said despite the pandemic, florists have found a brighter side of the situation. She says flowers are a convenient gift that routinely is delivered without contact, even before the pandemic. She also says they’ve witnessed an uptick in business because flowers are a way people can express their “wish we were with you” feelings, or give someone a pick-me-up.
According to Penn, SAF believe they’ll see the industry grow approximately 4% in 2021 after clocking in about $36 billion in business in 2020. She also notes that what customers are looking for today may be different then the past. “Our research shows that millenials want something ‘different’ – something that makes a statement,” when they select flowers. Something like a carnation, she said, may be just what they’re looking for when someone older might view that as an ordinary bloom.
Whatever your preference, Penn says contact your florist early – and listen to them. She says they know what’s available and have a vision of how they can arrange flowers to make it “just right” for your Valentine if you just take time to explain a little more about the recipient.