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First-ever American Grown Flowers Month Contest perks up slow flower sales

While flower production is abundant in July, for the average retailer, flower sales are not.

But when Congress declared July American Grown Flowers Month, the door to promoting homegrown flowers flew open. With that in mind, Certified American Grown announced the American Grown Flowers Merchandising Contest, held throughout the month of July.

The contest attracted 11 retailers representing over 1,200 retail locations. Participating stores reported an average sales increase of 6.7 percent in the month of July. The average sales increase for the top five stores from each participating company was more than 17.5 percent.

BIG-Y-103 First place winners are: Big Y store No. 103 in Norwell, MA; Dave’s Marketplace store No. 08 in Smithfield, RI; Safeway NorCal store No. 3031 in Daly City, CA; King Soopers store No. 112 in Bennett, CO.; Fry’s Store No. 64 in Gilbert, AZ; and Whole Foods Market store in Lancaster, PA.

Second place winners are: Big Y store No. 86 in Wilbraham, MA; Dave’s Marketplace store No. 04 in Warwick, RI; Safeway NorCal store No. 1648 in Lodi, CA; King Sooper store No. 98 in Colorado Springs, CO; Fry’s Store No. 675 in Buckeye, AZ; and Whole Foods Market store in Cincinnati, OH.

Third place winners are: Big Y store No. 90 in Shelton, CT; Dave’s Marketplace store NO. 01 in Warwick, RI; Safeway NorCal store No. 691 in Berkeley, CA; King Sooper store No. 102 in Longmont, CO; Fry’s store NO. 60 in Glendale, AZ; and Whole Foods Market store in Philadelphia, PA.

Participating retailers were judged on the quality and beauty of their in-store displays promoting American Grown Flowers Month, their ability to increase flower sales in July, and their efforts to promote the celebratory month overall, as well as promoting the Certified American Grown brand.

In-store campaigns were judged by Travis Rigby, publisher at Super Floral magazine and Florists’ Review; J Keith White, AIFD, creative director at American Floral Trends Forecast and AANDK Productions; and Tom Bowling, AIFD, PFCI, education director at Syndicate Sales.

The contest was a great way to create another flower-buying occasion beyond Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day and to help consumers connect with the value, abundance and importance of buying American Grown Flowers.

“Supporting American Grown Flowers month during the month of July was a huge win for our teams and our customers,” shared Damian Campbell, floral buyer at King Soopers. “We were able to highlight some great American Grown floral values to our customers during the month of July, when patriotism is running high. Having a red, white and blue easel sign detailing the event helped create customer excitement and recognition while the selling contest helped create associate excitement as well.”

The contest was a first of its kind. We can now say this celebration will grow into a fun and spirited annual tradition, celebrating the rich history, heritage and beauty of American Grown Flowers during July. The number of participating retailers, the sales data and the passion participants put into the contest blew us away.


Kasey Cronquist is the chief executive officer and ambassador for the California Cut Flower Commission in Sacramento, CA, and administrator at Certified American Grown. He can be contacted at