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Market segments in the European market for tropical flowers

Washing Heliconia in Colombia

The consumer market for tropical flowers can be segmented in a special occasion and an impulse segment.

Flowers are often purchased for special occasions like birthdays, weddings or to brighten up hotel lobbies, restaurants and trade fair stands. Typically, consumers are looking for a specific or interesting product that fits the occasion (planned purchase). In this market segment, interesting new products, which surprise the recipient, are particularly valued. The special occasion segment is mainly supplied by the flowers shops, which are able to offer a wide assortment, added value and can fulfil particular consumer requests.

In the impulse segment, consumers mainly purchase flowers for own use to brighten up their own house. In many cases, the consumer did not actually plan to buy flowers but was encouraged by the attractive price (impulse purchase). In this segment, price and convenience are very important. This segment is characterised by standardised products, large volumes of one or a small number of varieties, efficiently produced against minimal costs. These mainstream products are available year-round, either from European growers or from non-European exporters. Particularly supermarkets, petrol stations and street vendors supply the impulse segment.

Moving tropical flowers in ColombiaMost tropical flowers are still considered exclusive, unusual or unique products. They are therefore typically purchased for special occasions at (higher-end) flower shops. In many cases, consumers, retailers and wholesalers recognise this exclusivity and are willing to pay accordingly.
Anthurium and some Orchids, however, are examples of tropical products that have outgrown their position as niche products and are now considered mainstream. These products are sold both in the special occasion and impulse segment.

It is expected that both market segments will increase in terms of absolute sales. However, as a direct result of the increasing scales in the European wholesale and retail trade, the demand for mainstream products that are available in large standardised volumes will grow stronger. These bulk products better fit the volume requirements of multiples (supermarket and Do-It-Yourself chains). Nevertheless, the role of flower shops and their demand for special products will remain strong in most European markets.