A flower for your thoughts

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A recent study found that the highest ranked consideration when making a floral purchase is quality.

January 20, 2011

David Kuack

A recent study (Consumer Preferences for Flowers as Gifts: Age Segments, Substitutes and Preferred Risk—Perception of Price and Ease of Use) sponsored by the Floral Marketing Research Fund on consumer preference for cut flowers as gifts, found that the highest ranked consideration when making a floral purchase is quality. Other attributes that consumers indicated were important included color, price, design, longevity, availability, fragrance, uniqueness, ease of care and packaging container.

Although this study focused on cut flowers, its findings have application to other floral crop segments. Flower longevity was a big concern to the study participants, who wanted to know how to extend flower life. Most people in the study indicated they expected cut flower longevity to be six to 10 days. People purchasing pot plants would likely have the same concerns whether they purchased a plant for indoor or outdoor use.

The study’s researchers said labels that indicate flower longevity could alleviate some consumer disappointment with plant performance. Also, providing labels with care information at time of purchase could help consumers keep their floral products fresher for an extended time. Study participants are also fans of product guarantees.

Out of sight, out of mind
Some people aren’t buying flowers because they don’t think of  them as gifts or self-purchases. Study participants said they saw flower advertisements less often than other gift ads around  the holidays. Researchers said year-round advertising would lead to more flower gift purchases for many occasions. Study participants in all age groups were aware that flowers promote happiness. However, they were less aware that  flowers dispel worries and anxieties, cause women to smile, feed compassion, boost energy and enthusiasm and improve memory. The youngest group of consumers (18-30 year olds) was the least familiar with benefits of flowers.  It was also this young group that indicated their preference for floral gifts would likely improve if they were aware of the benefits.

For more:   Floral Marketing Research Fund, www.floralmarketingresearchfund.org.