Whilst research shows flowers and plants remain important there are some trends to watch out for as sales begin to drop in some areas and consumer confidence falls..
Research agency Motivaction has investigated the effects of Covid-19 on the consumption of flowers and plants for the fourth time. Conducted in November 2021 on behalf of the Flower Council, the survey covered consumers in Germany, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. It concluded that the most important buyer groups still expect to buy flowers and plants more often.
The survey was a repeat of the survey in June 2021. The first survey took place in October 2020.
Compared with the third survey in June 2021, the most noteworthy results are:
Flowers and plants remain important during lockdowns and working from home.
During this period consumers are looking after their houseplants and garden plants better.
Buying flowers and plants online remains popular.
Many respondents have a more negative view of their current and future financial situation.
63% of respondents feel that flowers improve the mood at home (previously 60%), and 61% feel that about plants (previously 60%).
51% believe that flowers brighten up the home working environment (was 52%), and 53% think that plants have a positive effect on working from home (previously 54%). For millennials this figure is an even more impressive 59% for plants and 58% for flowers.
French consumers are more likely than the other markets to think that flowers enhance the mood in the home (75%). Of the Aesthetic Explorers, 90% believe that flowers improve the mood, and 91% believe the same for plants. On average, these figures are 25% higher than before Covid.
Increased online purchases and deliveries
Since the start of the pandemic, 24% of respondents have bought flowers online for the first time, and 26% have purchased plants online for the first time. 29% have had home deliveries for flowers and plants. 24% of respondents are having flowers and plants delivered to others more often than before the pandemic, whilst this figure is 25% for plants.
Approximately half the respondents appreciate the fact that florists and garden centres are offering home delivery. In France this figure is an impressive 56%. 29% of respondents said they are buying flowers more often because they are at home more (was 29% in June), and 29% say that about plants (previously 30%). Again, we see that millennials are ordering online more often and buying more than average.
Consumers less positive about financial situation
In the previous survey 66% of respondents reported that their financial situation was unchanged. Now that figure is 67%. 66% do not anticipate any change over the next six months. 20% believe that their financial situation has already deteriorated (previously 17%), and 15% expect this to be the case over the next six months (was 11% in June). 10% have seen an improvement (previously 12%), and 11% expect an improvement over the next six months (previously 14%). The prospects are generally more negative than in June.
Finances to influence purchases of flowers and plants
Bearing in mind their anticipated financial situation, 64% (previously 65%) of respondents said that they will be buying the same quantity of flowers for themselves, and 65% as a gift (previously 66%). 10% of respondents intend to buy flowers for themselves more often (previously 12%), and as a gift (previously 11%). Here too we see differences between countries and generations.
Dutch respondents expect to buy fewer flowers, both for themselves and for other people.
However our most important target group, the Aesthetic Explorer, do not anticipate much change in their buying behaviour.
British consumers expect to buy more houseplants for themselves. We do not see this trend in the other countries.
Women, in particular, intend to buy fewer plants, both for themselves and for others. Millennials remain plant lovers and indicate that they want to buy plants for themselves more often, particularly compared with the other generations.
The most important buyer groups (Aesthetic Explorer and Status Seekers) still expect to buy flowers and plants more often. Other buyer groups indicate that they will be buying less.
We see that the less frequent buyers are buying less, whilst the frequent buyers want to buy more. The question is whether this will be enough to maintain the level of sales, so this paints a less positive picture than six months ago.
However whilst flowers and plants remain very important the impact of the omicron variant on consumption is also hard to predict.