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What is the effect of Covid-19 for consumers of flowers and plants?

16 January 2021

January 2021

At the start of the second wave of Covid-19 at the end of October/start of November 2020, research agency Motivaction working on behalf of the Flower Council of Holland, asked consumers in Germany, France, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands about the effect of Covid-19 on their consumption of flowers and plants. 

At the time of this research Germany was not in lockdown and all sales channels were open. United Kingdom however was in a second lockdown, in the Netherlands the government decided for a partial lockdown to reduce infections, and France also went into a second full lockdown where all non-essential shops were closed. Here are the most notable findings of the research at the end of 2020.

  • Flowers and plants are important when working from home

Wat doet Covid-19 met consumenten van bloemen en planten?
60% of consumers reported that flowers make their living and home-working environment more pleasant, particularly now that they are at home more. For plants the figure is 50%. Amongst millennials, 57% say that houseplants make their WFH environment more pleasant. If we look at our core target group the Aesthetic Explorer, the figures are a remarkable 75% for flowers and 76% for houseplants. These figures are an average of 10% higher than what consumers were reporting before the pandemic. What is notable is that French consumers are more inclined to recognise that flowers improve the atmosphere at home (65%) and say that they are looking after their houseplants and outdoor plants better during the crisis. British consumers are recognising more often that flowers improve the atmosphere at home (63%).

  • Home delivery of flowers and plants

Approximately 1 in 5 consumers reported that they had bought flowers and/or plants online for the first time. 27% of consumers have had flowers and plants delivered to their homes since the start of the crisis. Roughly half the respondents are very pleased that florists and garden centres offer home delivery; in France the figure is as high as 59%. 25% of the respondents said that they are buying flowers more often because they are at home more. 47% of French consumers and a similar number of British consumers reported that during the crisis they like buying outdoor plants to brighten their outdoor space. Here too we see that millennials responded more positively than average with regards to home delivery of flowers and plants. They order online more often, and also buy more than average. 

  • Financial situation 

At the time of the research 60% of respondents reported that their financial situation has not yet changed, and 63% reported that they do not expect that situation to change over the coming six months. 20% reported that their financial situation has already deteriorated, and 19% reported that they expect this to happen over the next six months. French consumers are least optimistic about their future financial situation: 24% of French respondents expect their financial situation to deteriorate over the coming six months. On the other hand, German consumers are least negative about their financial future: 13% expect their financial situation to deteriorate over the coming six months, and 11% think that it will improve. Zooming in on the millennials (born in 1985 - 2000): they reported more than average that their financial situation has benefited (15%) and that they expect it to improve further over the coming six months (13%). 

  • Financial situation and anticipated impact on purchases of flowers and plants

In the context of the predicted financial situation over the coming six months, approximately 60% of respondents said that they will continue to buy the same quantity of flowers (both for themselves and for other people), and 18% said that they will buy less. Set against that is the fact that 10% of respondents intend to buy flowers more often. Here too we see differences between the countries and the generations. The Dutch and the French reported more than average that they will be spending less, whilst millennials indicated that they will be buying flowers more often. In Germany and the UK the market appeared to be stable at the time of the research. 
In terms of plants (both houseplants and outdoor plants) we see the same trends as with cut flowers. 

Follow-up research
This research will be repeated in mid-February in order to see to what extent the stricter measures at the start of this year are further influencing consumer behaviour. We expect to be able to share those findings at the end of March.

More information
If you would like to find out more about this research and the findings, please contact Monique Kemperman at m.kemperman@bloemenbureauholland.nl.