Giving the gift of flowers is a timeless way to say I love you, thank you, congratulations, happy anniversary, I’m sorry, and so many other things. So, it’s not surprising that the floral industry is thriving in developing and undeveloped countries alike.
While the flower-growing market as we know it today can largely be traced back to a late-19th century boom, which took hold in the United Kingdom, there’s evidence that people have long been beautifying their surroundings with pretty plants. Paintings and sculptures from the Old Kingdom, Ancient Egypt between 2700 and 2200 BC depict flowers in vases. And the Perneb Tomb built for the man who gave the burial place its name in circa 2381 to 2323 BC, features bas-relief carvings of lotus buds and blossoms presented in flared bowls.
A Complex Industry
The floral industry is made of three main components, the growers of the plants and flowers, the wholesalers, and, finally, the retailers.
But, while the latest trends cover all these aspects, there is a definite push in the direction of wholesalers being steadily eradicated. Their removal means that flora of all kinds is becoming available at a significantly lower price for the man in the street, and this drop is only set to continue.
The statistics we’ve collected to represent the flower industry in 2022 reveal that although COVID-19 caused havoc to retailers, the market is recovering nicely and looks set to improve steadily in the future.
Excellent Growth Prediction
The compound annual growth rate of the worldwide ornamental flower and plants market is expected to increase by over 6% between 2021 and 2025. With worth expected to reach almost $600 million, this value becomes all the more extraordinary when you consider that 2019 figures were a mere $42 400!
The research behind this neighbour focused on many different locales, including Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and North and South America.
The Netherlands Is a Major Player
The Netherlands is where it’s at when it comes to the trade of cut flowers globally, with this north-western European country accounting for more than 40% of the total. Holland may be famous all over the world for images of colourful fields of tulips, and roughly two billion of these are exported around the world every year, but this city is also the chief hub for the international floral trade.
The tulip is the most exported flower in The Netherlands, but Dutch companies don’t just sell blooms grown within their country’s borders. Flowers are imported from many other places the world over, including Columbia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Israel. This means that the Dutch retail almost any flower available anywhere on earth, a fact which is a massive attraction to flower shops and wholesalers.
Holland’s Flower Council has gone so far as to create Trend Collections each year to match consumers’ evolving needs, one for the Spring/Summer seasons and another for the Autumn/Winter ones. The Spring/Summer collection features allium, alstroemeria, freesia, milkweeds, oxeye daisies, and yarrow for 2022. And the Autumn/Winter assembly includes amaryllis, eryngium, floribunda roses, gloriosa, Limonium, and Polianthes tuberose.
Seasonality & Calm Palettes Are Popular
Seasonality is one of the biggest floral themes for this year, and it’s partnered by calm, romantic colour palettes, minimalist stylings, and practical, environmentally solutions to obstacles. Look out for flowers in bright, bold colours, but arrange them in a less bulky fashion.
Artificial Flowers on the Rise
Reports indicate that the value of the artificial flower and plant industry in the United States of America will increase to almost $400 million by 2025.
Although there is a shared conception that these look too fake to bring people any pleasure, this is no longer the case, with silk blossoms holding enormous aesthetic appeal nowadays. These high-quality flowers look just as real as their actual counterparts and a great array of different options are open to consumers, including cosmos, lavender, orchids, proteas, and poppies. They are perfect imitations of real flowers’ colours and are made of excellent material that offers not just authenticity but durability as well.
Silk flowers can be used in almost any setting, much like the plants they’re based on, and suit a variety of corporate and residential locales. Use them to brighten up boring reception areas, create a pop of colour in your home, and add a touch of elegance to any environment you spend a lot of time in in 2022.
Roses Continue Their Reign
Roses remain the star of the show when it comes to weddings in 2022, but florists are bringing all their creativity to the cutting table and have given them something of a reinvention this year.
Petals are getting peeled back to reveal these flowers’ extravagant beauty in all their glory and trends in terms of colours include darker tones. Near-black blooms and chocolate brown flowers are coming into their own in a big way.
The world is waking up to humans’ impact on the planet in many different industries and the floral word is no exception. Wedding parties in particular will feel a push to make use of flowers grown locally in 2022, as well as limiting floral arrangements to flowers and foliage that are in season.
We are also finally saying goodbye to foam when it comes to arrangements and installations. As easy as it is to work with, floral foam is terrible for the environment, with many calling it the plastic bag of this industry. Thankfully, people who work with flowers are starting to do their bit to minimise harm.
As traditional as the flower industry is, there was much alarm among operators when the first technological trends began to emerge in this market. A logical step for anyone who wants to stay relevant, however, it’s an impossible situation to ignore, and luckily many business owners have come around and are now embracing this brand-new element.
In the same way that the travel market had to find a way to work with Augmented Reality-based apps in their industry, the floral industry has started to embrace technological shifts. This means that they’re beginning to see fruit in the form of new clientele, original opportunities, and increased availability.
Everyone is always looking for ways to get retail goods delivered as quickly as possible and at the lowest price, with Deliv, Lyft, and Uber being prime examples of this consumer need. This battle is moving into the territory of automatic delivery technologies, like droids and drones, and companies are falling over themselves to find the fastest, cheapest route for their goods to get to your door.
Expect to see this spilling over into the floral industry in 2022 and enjoy heretofore unmatched delivery of the perfect bouquet as and when you need them.
Mechanised automation has thus far been limited to machines that can create bouquets, but this is no longer the case. As we continue through 2022, we should be seeing more adoption of robotics in the floral market, particularly as this concept applies to the mass market. A big focus for robotics creators is the development of floral designs that meet the requirements of the American Institute of Flora Designers™ at 300+ units every hour.
Robots are already making our coffee, mixing our drinks, and cooking up pancakes and pizzas, something which the service industry has embraced with both hands. It’s generally not even a money-saving element that has driven this directional change, but the sheer lack of available workers. And now the floral industry is coming to the party too.
The bottom line is that, as long as we are getting fresher products at a consistently better quality, who cares if our arrangements are made by man or machine?
Also sometimes referred to as Unmanned Retail, smart vending machines offering bouquets are beginning to show up in various industries. They have thus become largely accepted by consumers as a convenient element as regards retail. While they may only be responsible for a small percentage of retail sales totals, there is nonetheless space for smart machines that provide flowers 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which can then be delivered by services like Lyft and Uber.
Globally we are becoming less and less tolerant of limited access to what we want, and the floral retail market generally shuts its doors from 6 pm to 8 am, with many additionally not being open for all of the weekend. This simply won’t work anywhere, and smart coolers are the solution. We are already seeing them in many Asian hubs and the rest of the planet is going to have to get with the programme and start implementing them to stay relevant.
As the world continues to innovate and embrace strides in technology, there is no doubt that the floral industry will flourish this year and for many still to come.
With retailers and consumers learning more about the industry and its effect on the planet, they’re learning how to be better more consistently. And, with healthy trends like those outlined here forming the foundation for the market this year, it’s safe to assume that the future is bright for everyone involved in the floral industry.