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State of the flower industry

By
J Schwanke, The Flower Expert and host of J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom

Flower Power- we’ve had it all along!

The Tide has turned, and what a difference it makes when we lead with flowers! This global pandemic has provided many ups and downs — especially when it comes to the flower industry, but the good news firmly outweighs the bad.

Good News: People are buying flowers like never before! It’s a fact and it’s welcome. For years — as flower professionals — we have wished for flower consumption like our friends in Europe where people feel the need, want and desire to have flowers in their homes all the time!

sdfPeople quickly recognized that in times of uncertainty, when faced with challenges, it was helpful to have flowers around the house. For years we’ve casually mentioned the health and wellness benefits of flowers: the research has been available for decades; that flowers help us feel happier, reduce depression and stress. Homes with flowers have fewer arguments, flower help us find creative solutions — the list goes on and on. Visit uBloom.com/Research where I have compiled these studies in one easy-to-access location!

Flower Consumption is UP — way up. So much so it can be challenging to get certain varieties for special events or weddings — but at the same time this is simply a hurdle, a “little bump in the road" as it were! Flower Power is real, and the average American has determined “flowers” are as essential as milk, eggs, and bread — and millions of Americans are realizing they need flowers, they want flowers and they enjoy flowers!

So what do we do now? How do we continue to encourage this behavior- and ensure it extends well into the future as our flower farms are planting and forecasting more flowers for the future? As our customers realize the NEED and WANT flowers all the time? We definitely need to stay positive — and keep flowers top of mind in everything we do or say!

It’s easy for us to complain about shortages, transportation issues or elevated costs, but now is the time for us to keep our goal firmly in mind and focus on the future! The future of flowers is blooming! As the host of a national television show about cut flowers, I know that America is falling in love with flowers all over again. “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom” is showing in 92.75 percent of the country on over 300 PBS Stations and the Create Network — and we’re reaching 88 million households weekly for the past 115-plus weeks telling the story of flower farms, featuring the stories behind the flowers and sharing crafts, projects, recipes (yes you can cook with flowers) and teaching everyone how to create their own life in bloom!

These numbers are staggering, and at the same time it’s proof positive of what we always knew: people love flowers. Add to that flowers do indeed make people happy!

We need to keep our eyes firmly on the prize — and the goal — of encouraging more Americans to enjoy more flowers more often. It’s a simple task because flowers have the power to make us happy, to keep us inspired, to discourage arguments and unrest. Flowers help us enlarge our circles of friends and reduce stress and depression.

Just like Glenda the Good Witch told Dorothy: “You’ve had the Power all along.” We’ve had the power — the flower power all along. The world is waking up to the power of flowers! The state of our great flower industry is bright, positive and empowering, and we can choose to focus on the hurdles or “the little bumps in the road” — but it will benefit us all to be positive, creative, and to educate and enlighten our customers with flower-arranging projects, DIY projects, care and handling advancements, new varieties, exciting combinations, and share the health and wellness benefits of flowers. The future is bright my friends. The future is flowers, and we have the power — we’ve had it all along! Flower power on — flower power on!

J Schwanke is the Flower Expert and Host of “J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom” on Public Television, which can also be seen online at www.uBloom.com/LifeinBloom. His flower farm documentaries and video tutorials are also available at uBloom.com.

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