Departments - Outlook

October 21, 2021

Like any Millennial, I’d heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). But FORO? That was new to me.

Allow me to explain.

I was in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last week for AmericanHort’s inaugural Finished Plant Conference, which turned out to be a two-day (and, at times, quite technical) deep dive into all aspects of plant production when taking them beyond the young plant (aka liner) stage.

I don’t have room here to cover everything that went down in Beer City, USA — which honestly seemed a bit like a ghost town still due to COVID — but I can relay a couple nuggets I picked up:

Natives and pollinator-friendly crops are still scorching hot with plant buyers, and they will likely continue to be so into 2022.

Succulents can be incredibly profitable if you commit enough greenhouse space to scale up production.

Something else that has remained stuck in my craw, though, is this new-to-me concept of FORO, or Fear of Running Out (of plants to sell). It was briefly mentioned by a grower lamenting that we’re often so hyper focused on bottom line sales and revenues and pleasing every customer, that sometimes we act like selling out of a plant or a variety is the end of the world.

His point was that, well, maybe it’s not always such a bad thing. Because that’s also confirmation that you’re growing the right type of plants and doing so in a way that your customers seek out, time and time again.

And I don’t have to tell anyone here, oftentimes that’s half (or maybe it’s closer 33%?) of the battle.

Bottom line: Don’t let FORO influence your buying this season. Trust your data and focus on the plants that are consistently selling out each season. It’s a good thing!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Matthew J. Grassi, Editor | | 216-393-0362