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U.S. Consumer Floral Purchasing Trends for Motherís Day

Drs. Tom & Tim Prince,  Prince & Prince, Inc., Columbus, Ohio  USA


( Web Publication Date: May 1, 2008 )

NOTE: Updated consumer floral-purchasing trends are available in the Prince & Prince U.S. Consumer Floral Tracking Survey, now available as a one-day, on-site, comprehensive seminar, with Q&A session, or as a "Seminar on Flash".   Click on "SEMINARS" from the P&P Home Page.


Special Note: This article is based on new consumer floral research conducted by Prince & Prince, Inc. (P&P) in 2007, and sponsored by Smithers-Oasis North America. P&P thank Smithers-Oasis N.A. for their financial support in making this consumer research possible.

Motherís Day has traditionally been one of the largest floral holidays for retail florists and floral mass marketers in the US, yet the floral industry has scant market information about current consumer demographic trends related to Motherís Day floral purchasing.   In this article, we reveal new market data from the 2007 P&P Consumer Floral Tracking Survey, specifically consumer demographic trends that influence household floral purchasing for Motherís Day.   By "floral purchasing", we mean the purchasing of fresh cut flowers ( arrangements, bouquets, bunches, stems, corsages ) and/or indoor potted plants (flowering plants, foliage plants, and dish gardens/planters), NOT outdoor bedding/garden plants.   In addition to the recent survey findings, we also compare this purchasing information with prior P&P national consumer surveys conducted in 2000, and in 1996 to identify long-term historical trends in purchasing for this holiday, and historical trends for specific consumer demographic segments.

The P&P US Consumer Floral Tracking Survey

Since 1996, Prince & Prince has periodically monitored the US consumer marketplace with its nationwide survey about household floral purchasing and the floral outlets where consumers purchase ( see About the Survey ).   The surveys obtain a random selection of over 1,000 floral-buying households throughout the US, with 1310, 1065, and 1,208 households responding to the survey in 1996, 2000, and 2007.   In these surveys, we measure the consumer household incidence of purchasing floral products for numerous holidays, occasions, and events, including those floral purchases made specifically for Motherís Day.   By household purchasing incidence, we mean the purchase of at least one floral product by the household for the Motherís Day holiday during the year.   We show the purchasing incidence as the percentage of floral-buying households that made a floral purchase for Motherís Day.   The P&P Consumer Floral Tracking Survey also collects ten key consumer demographic measures that are used in our segmentation analyses (Table 1).   In this article, we highlight historical household floral purchasing trends for Motherís Day, and show household purchasing trends across a few key demographic segments.


Household Floral Purchasing for Motherís Day

Figure 1 reveals that across 1,208 randomly-selected floral-buying households nationwide in 2007, 63% had purchased at least one floral product for Motherís Day.   This compares to a similar household purchase incidence of 62% in year 2000, and a somewhat higher purchase incidence of 67% back in 1996.   For 2007, the Motherís Day holiday obtained the highest incidence of purchase among 24 holidays, events and occasions measured in the P&P research.  Collectively, these  high levels of household purchasing indicates that Motherís Day is an extremely important holiday for the floral industry.   However, since the mid-1990ís, the Motherís Day holiday, while strongly dominant, has lost some "floral-purchasing power" among US floral-buying households.



To identify consumer groups that drive overall floral-product purchasing for Motherís Day, we segmented the overall survey findings by the household demographic characteristics shown in Table1.   In this reporting, we highlight three demographic characteristics of US floral-buying households (US Region, Household Income, and Age of Householder), and show trends in floral purchasing incidence over time for each demographic segment.

Motherís Day Floral Purchasing by US Regions

In the survey research, we segmented the overall findings by the five US Census shown in Table 1.  The states that define the Census regions are shown in the Appendix ( see Definition of US Census Regions ).   The regional trend data for Motherís Day purchasing is shown in Figure 2.   The legend in the chart (denoting the three study periods) reveals that there was significant variation in household floral purchasing for Motherís Day across the five Census region in 2007 ( significance denoted by the asterisk * ).   For 2007, the Northeast and South Atlantic regions show the highest level of Motherís Day purchasing, while the North Central region (Mid-West) shows the lowest.   The Northeast and South Atlantic regions also show significant rebounding gains in household purchasing from the prior study period in 2000 ( denoted by the asterisk in the chart ).   The North Central region shows continuing declines in floral purchasing for Motherís Day over the three study periods, losing about 6% in household purchasing from 1996 to 2000, and losing another 5% from 2000 to 2007.   The South Central region shows the most consistent household floral purchasing for Motherís Day, ranging from 65% to 67% over the three study periods.   The West region also shows consistent purchasing trends for Motherís Day from 2000 to 2007 (65% to 66%), but this incidence of household purchasing is down from the survey "high" of 74% back in 1996.


Motherís Day Floral Purchasing by Household Income

Household floral purchasing for Motherís Day increases significantly with higher income levels ( Figure 3 ).   For 2007, those floral-buying households with incomes between $50,001 to $75,000 show a significant rebound in Motherís Day purchasing from the prior study period in 2000.   Household with the highest incomes ( over $100,000 ), show relatively high but stable purchasing for Motherís Day over the three study periods.   Households with the lowest incomes ( $25,000 or less ) show the lowest relative purchasing, and for 2007, Motherís Day purchasing has trended even lower than in previous study periods.


Motherís Day Floral Purchasing by Age of Householder

Motherís Day floral purchasing varies significantly by age of householder.  A high incidence of floral purchasing is with the 35 to 44 and 45 to 54 age groups, and the 45 to 54 age group shows a significant rebound in purchasing for 2007 over 2000.   For 2007, nearly three-fourths of households in the 35 to 44 age-group purchased floral for Motherís Day.   The eldest age group ( age 65 & older ) shows the lowest relative purchasing for Motherís Day.   Since 1996, the youngest age group ( under 35 ) shows a continuing weakness in Motherís Day floral purchasing over the three study periods.




This tracking research has presented an historical profile of household floral purchasing for Motherís Day in the US.  This is undoubtedly one of the key major holidays for the US floral industry, with nearly two-thirds of US floral-buying households now making a floral purchase for this holiday.   However, the household incidence of purchasing for Motherís Day varies significantly among some key consumer demographic segments.   While most US regions show relatively strong purchasing metrics for Motherís Day, the North Central ( Mid-West ) region shows a continuing softness in purchasing since 1996.   Households with higher incomes ( annual household incomes over $50,000 ) are largely maintaining their relatively high incidence of purchasing for Motherís Day, whereas lower-income households are somewhat abandoning a floral purchase for Motherís Day, especially those with annual household incomes of $25,000 or less.   The two strongest floral-purchasing age co-horts for Motherís Day ( ages 35 to 44, and 45 to 54 ) are either maintaining or increasing their already high incidence of floral purchasing for this holiday.   However, since 1996, the youngest household age group ( under 35 ) is showing a continuing slow "erosion" in floral purchasing for Motherís Day.   We hope this consumer purchasing profile for Motherís Day can benefit members of the US floral industry by identifying marketing opportunities and challenges for this most major floral holiday.


Definition of US Census Regions.   The five Census regions shown in Table 1 are identified by the following states: Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, VT), North Central or Mid-West (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MO, MN, NE, ND, OH, SD, WI), South Atlantic (DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, SC, VA, WV), South Central (AL, AR, KY, LA, MS, OK, TN, TX), and West (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY).

About the Survey.   The P&P US Consumer Floral Tracking Survey has been conducted periodically since 1996, and tracks consumer floral purchasing at various floral outlets in the United States.   The mailed survey is completed by over 1,000 randomly-selected floral-buying households throughout the US (P&P does NOT use panels or on-line polls), thus the survey provides a highly reliable and valid probability sample of US floral-buying households for identifying and projecting floral-market trends.   Collectively, the P&P consumer research answers the following: Who are the floral consumers of today? . . . What are they buying? . . . How much are they spending? . . . Where are they buying? . . . Why are they buying? . . . How are the specific floral outlets performing? - - their strengths and their weaknesses? . . . In what areas should the floral outlets focus to gain more floral sales? . . . and . . . How has all of this changed over the past decade?    Smithers-Oasis North America was the key sponsor for the consumer survey conducted in the late Summer/ Fall of 2007.   More details about the P&P US Consumer Floral Tracking Survey can be found at the following web link: http://www.floralmarketresearch.com/ConsumerResearch.htm

About the Authors.  Drs. Tom and Tim Prince, formerly of The Ohio State University, are brothers and co-founders of Prince & Prince, Inc., a leading marketing research specialist in the floral and green plant industries.   Prince & Prince has completed more than 50 major marketing research reports for the floral and floral-related industries in the US, and has also conducted floral marketing research in Canada, the United Kingdom, Holland, Germany, and Spain.  They conceptualize, design, and implement market studies and product tests for floral and green-plant suppliers, hardgood suppliers, floral importers, wholesale florists, retail florists, and floral-industry associations.   For more information about their marketing research and their "Seminars on CD", visit their web site at www.FloralMarketResearch.com, or contact Prince & Prince, Inc., PO Box 2465, Columbus, OH 43216-2465, phone: 614-299-4050.



Prince & Prince, Inc.  PO Box 2465,  Columbus, OH  43216-2465 

Office: 614-299-4050;  Mobile: 614-264-0939   E-mail: FloralMktResearch@att.net


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