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floral trends

Floral design trends

Eight industry professionals look forward in floral and share tips to help you plan ahead.
     by Shelley Urban

     The future is always a bit uncertain, but now, perhaps more than ever, some guidance from respected floral professionals could be important for meeting customers’ needs. We consulted eight industry veterans, and, without question, they all tell us that the economy will be the strongest influence on florals and their design styles for the near future. In addition, these designers offer suggestions for products that will appeal to flower buyers in the months to come.

arrangement styles
     According to the experts we consulted, consumers’ budgetary considerations will lead to a “scaling back,” both in size and price, of floral arrangements. “Splurging is out,” notes Kim Morrill, AIFD, designer, product developer and owner of Morrill Support Inc. in Seattle, Wash.

     Nevertheless, expectations will remain high. “Flowers are luxury items, so when money is tight, arrangements must really have something to catch attention,” Ms. Morrill shares. And customers will want significant value for the money spent. “‘Value-added’ is everything,” concurs René van Rems, AIFD, of René van Rems International in Vista, Calif.

     Most designers recommend that florists emphasize long-lasting flowers, so consumers feel they’ve gotten a great deal for their dollars. Grander masses of small-bloomed selections will contribute to perceived value.

     Another aspect of the value equation is flower type, and some consumers will seek premium blooms although fewer than they would have in the past.

     However, when consumers are cautious in their purchases, they often avoid taking risks and, instead, opt for traditional favorites. “In supermarkets, the most popular arrangement will continue to be a dozen roses arranged with fillers and greens,” relates Pam Smith, AAF, PFCI, director of marketing for Nature’s Flowers in Miami, Fla., and a Super Floral Retailing editorial adviser.

botanical elements
     Being good stewards of the earth is quickly becoming a way of life, and this ecologically inspired thinking has led to interest in natural products—or those that appear to have come from nature. So stones, mosses, pods and other botanical elements will have even broader appeal.

     “Natural woods and stone and other elements with ‘earth-friendly’ appeal will dominate,” reports Walter Fedyshyn, AIFD, PFCI, president of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and project manager and lead designer for Anthony Gowder Designs, Inc. in Chicago, Ill.

     Foliages are naturals for “green” arrangements, and at Schnuck Markets, Inc. in St. Louis, Mo., customers select them for home and office display. “In vase arrangements,” shares Design Coordinator/Trainer Rhonda Lynn-Moeckel, AIFD, “mixtures of foliages are very popular.”

color preferences
     When times are tough, consumers turn to comforting colors, and warm hues seem to convey the nurturing we need. In addition, a range of sunny yellows trending to oranges is expected to draw consumer interest. “Analogous color harmonies—neighboring colors on the color wheel—are emotional and good choices for these times,” assures Ms. Morrill.

Bold colors also are proven to captivate. “Vibrant colors draw customers into our departments,” agrees Ms. Lynn-Moeckel, “and customers really like monochromatic [palettes]. Purples are very popular,” she adds.

     Whatever color palettes are currently attracting customers, though, remember the importance of cohesion. “The entire department should look cohesive and in tune with the season,” assures Ms. Smith


Super Floral Retailing •• Copyright 2009
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.