The floral area of the International Fresh Produce Association’s (IFPA) Global Produce & Floral Show in Orlando was blooming Friday as flower growers and others reported blossoming sales across the category.
“Retailers are coming to us with confidence,” said Ed Vermolen, sales manager for Aldershot Greenhouses Ltd., which grows 100,000 plants a week, 52 weeks a year.
When it comes to supermarket floral departments, Franice Wilder, a floral buyer for Roundy’s supermarkets, told WGB that “pre pandemic purchases are seeing an uptick.”
With more people opting to cook and eat at home because of high restaurant prices, consumers are bringing the outside in with plants and floral arrangements, floral industry experts reported.
“Since the pandemic, demand has skyrocketed,” Marcos Gutt, from Passion Growers, a sustainable Miami-based rose provider that sells exclusively to supermarkets, said.
“People wanted to make their homes look nice and flowers were a good affordable way to do that,” Gutt said.
Inflation, though, has caused sales to wilt a bit recently. "It's been soft for the last two months," Gutt said, adding he had confidence growth would resume.
“I think we captured enough new consumers and the consumption base is still higher than it was pre-pandemic,” he said.
Looking to meet consumer demand, grocery retailers are increasing their floral department footprints.
West Des Moines, Iowa-based supermarket chain Hy-Vee expanded its floral and gift shop department at its recently “reimagined” grocery store in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
The Global Produce & Floral Show featured more than 1,000 exhibitors, including produce and flower growers, tech companies and retail solutions firms. The trade show ran from Thursday through Saturday.