Flower shops around the world have been wondering what is happening to flower prices, availability and quality at the wholesale level. As many wholesalers and retailers are recovered from the pandemic, they are now being faced with some new challenges.
The Reason Prices and Availability are Changing
- The Floral industry is booming in terms of demand for flowers, but demand is much higher than current supply.
This is due to a number of things, Flower giving has been “a thing” during COVID-19 and it has continued which is great for the Floral Industry however demand is not greater than supply. There is NO stock sitting at the growers waiting for orders to come in. As fast as they can grow it is it selling so when all the weddings start booking the demand just got greater.
- Snow in Ecuador!
Its August, and there is snow in Ecuador which is causing huge issues for growth and transportation. After a wet summer they are dealing with some of the worst weather ever recorded. Plants are not growing as they normally do and this in turn is causing shortages.
- Sun and Heat in Canada
Our Canadian growers have also been impacted by weather. Our beautiful Canadian Gerbera Daisies do not grow or send up new buds when the greenhouses get too hot, causing a shortage of Gerberas. This, along with the replacement of plants that happens in the summer when it is normally not as busy, reduced the numbers available. Some growers have struggled with rotting in their greenhouses causing a snapdragon shortage and our field growers have recently suffered wind and rain damage. All of these elements and variables play a significant role in the lifecycle of a flower.
- Not enough planes to meet demand, leaving flowers sitting at airports.
No passenger planes mean not enough space for flowers. Many planes have been re-fitted to cargo planes but there is simply just not enough to meet this growing demand. Growers get to the airport only to find there are no flight and they now have to leave products to wait for another to arrive thus delaying product arriving in Miami.
- A shortage of custom inspectors in Miami causing delays and in turn missing transportation from Miami back to Toronto
Many Custom officers retired at the begi8ning of the Pandemic and there has not been any training available for new one leaving all the ports short of trained custom inspectors. This is causing big delays which now has a domino effect and product is missing truck connections.
- Wedding season is back in swing and the demand for flowers is at a record high
Weddings, Weddings everywhere! Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays every week and multiple per day. This is adding to the already tight market. If it is white or soft pink, it’s limited. White, Quicksand and Sahara roses are selling at prices higher that we normally see at Valentines Day, if we can find a place with supply.
So, what can you do?
As a florist, wholesaler, or other member of the floral industry, we all play our part to keep business going for all our partners and customers.
- Be understanding with your Wholesaler – We never want to short your flowers – especially a wedding order. Our buyers are working harder than ever every week to source your flowers. The market has changed and we must change with it. Here’s what you can do:
- Communicate – Make sure your customers know about the shortages and struggles facing the floral industry, so they are more understanding when a shortage of product occurs.
- Sell Weddings by colour, not by flowers – Although there are shortages on some products, there are more of others. If you had a plan for a bouquet with a specific flower that you might not be able to get, purchase flowers of the same colour or style to substitute.
- Buy Early – Pre-book your product as early as possible, it does not always mean you will “get it” however it does give us more opportunity to source for you.
- Adapt – Although there are shortages on some products, there are more of others. If you had a plan for a bouquet with a specific flower and might not be able to get it, purchase flowers of the same colour or style to substitute.
When will prices go down?
We all know the floral industry is in a stressful time. As with any commodity, supply and demand has always played a role in flower pricing. This may just be our new normal.
As Easter and Mother’s Day approach and many provinces and states are in lockdown, there will be no lack of demand for flowers and plants. This demand will likely outweigh the supply of product until flower production and transport methods are restored to full capacity around the globe.
We encourage all florists and wholesalers to stay up to date with trends in the industry worldwide, so you can best prepare for the changes to come. Please share this article with your floral colleagues and friends. Future articles will be published by Floral Express as more news arises in the industry.
Suzy Caiger – Sales & Marketing Director, Floral Express Wholesale
Sam Palen – Marketing Coordinator, Floral Express Wholesale