During the presentation of the Garden 2024 Consumer Guide in Orléans, the professionals present discussed the notion of High-end plant-based. And to tell the truth, this notion is not very clear! Is a high-end plant more expensive? Is it the way of distributing it that makes it so much better? Will it grow better, faster? 🤔
By looking at the leaflets from distributors in the fall, we realize some price differences on the ground.
Let’s take a great classic, pansy in a tray of 10 buckets. It was offered in September at less than 2 euros per tray in a general distributor. At the same time, it was sold in garden centers for around 5 euros. With such a difference, the consumer is entitled to ask questions about the quality of the plant, about the recovery, about the sustainability of the plant, about the origin, etc.
So certainly, after 2 or 3 days, at our food distributor, the tray of pansy without light, without water, left in the bottom of a role will not live long. If you are an experienced gardener, it is prudent to show up on the first day of the promotion to have fresh plants. Then this all falls into the realm of markdown.
The pansy is just a simple argument to bring in customers who will leave with noodles and beers…
We can already hear garden center employees protesting and explaining that it is not the same product. The bucket is smaller, the varieties are nothing exceptional, there is no choice, it is flat after 2 days, it is barely rooted, it is poor quality soil … And many more.But for the consumer who does not necessarily have very advanced garden expertise, a pansy is a pansy, and if the plant grows again, the result is the same.The only visible difference for him is the price, and it is yet another stone thrown into the specialist’s price image.These economic pensies are produced industrially in the North of France, with a minimum of employees since it is the robots that do the work. By scratching a little at all stages of production, we arrive at a ridiculous price compared to the traditional product. Today it is the pansy, but it is also the phalaenopsis, the cyclamen, the geranium, the tomato plant, salads, aromatics… In summary, what we call the 20/80 who are in leaflet or on sale at all garden distributors for years…
Over the years, perhaps we should have offered promotions on species and varieties that were a little less “classic”? But it’s too late! So to make the plant a little more high-end, we must also count on the atmosphere, the appearance of the plant, the advice and the welcome of customers.We know that the plants offered in hypermarkets will not be accompanied by relevant advice and the reception may leave something to be desired.This is true, provided that these different points are not neglected by specialists.In our Garden 2024 Consumer Guide, we visited 55 points of sale and encountered just over 5 employees on average per point of sale. We also counted the “hellos” received. We know the importance of welcoming a plant product that can touch emotion and passion. Reception and advice both contribute to positioning the product in a “high-end” category. On condition, however, that we don’t forget ourselves when we walk through the aisles…The results of this “hello” survey that you can find in the Garden Consumer Guide 2024 are rather… mixed! Hellos do not pass the 50% mark! Ouch!
In the future, we will increasingly face extremely low prices.There are 2 main reasons for this.To reduce production costs, we need products that generate volume, this is the case for our pansies and cyclamen which are part of the 20/80. “Major distribution” is not going to launch into collectible plants, so it needs very reliable values.And to operate these robot-filled plant factories, the horticultural investor will need firm commitments. A group of points of sale will have to, as for Christmas products, garden furniture or pottery, commit to quantities upstream of production.Can stock management by producers work on slightly rarer plants? For the 20/80, the commitment of distributors will be mandatory to ensure competitive prices.There is still a lot to say about the quality of the plants offered to our amateur gardeners. But in the future, to differentiate ourselves from price sellers, we will have to find quality producers AND have commitments with them. In the field, the ideal will be to have professional and welcoming teams to retain our customers.High-end plants aren’t just plants 🥴 😉!