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HRI funds horticultural marketing research

The Horticulture Research Institute — the research arm of AmericanHort — has awarded Dr. Bridget Behe funding for her research titled “Off the sales floor and into the cart: Analyzing the path to plant purchases.” Her research will look at how consumers make buying decisions with regard to plant purchases, according to a news release.

New technologies, such as portable devices that track eye movements, will be used to investigate visual cue selections that lead to plant purchases.

Packaging, in-store signage, brand and price will all be evaluated as well. These results should help retailers improve the customer shopping experience.

The HRI’s mission is to direct, fund, promote and communicate horticulture research. Supporting research that challenges current methods and bridges the divide between businesses and the consumer is how HRI helps build businesses and advance the green industry. In 2018, it is funding 10 projects for a total of $232,000, to investigate solutions in the areas of horticultural production, pest management, environmental stewardship, and business and marketing.