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Floral Industry Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

1.    What is the size of the floral industry?

 

2.    How many florists, wholesale florists and floriculture growers are there in the U.S.?

 

3.    What are the top flowers and plants?

 

4.    Are there operational standards for running a florist shop?

 

5.    How can I determine the value of a retail florist business to buy or sell?

 

6.    How has the economic recession affected the floral industry?

 

7.    Where can I find information on the care and handing of flowers and plants?

 

8.    I have been asked to speak with the media. What do you have to help?

 

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1.    What is the size of the floral industry?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), consumers in the U.S. consumed $25.7 billion in floral products in 2013. The estimate includes bedding and garden plants along with cut flowers, indoor green and flowering plants and other related products. For floriculture sales by year, click here.

SAF estimates that value of cut flower sales to be in the $7 billion to $8 billion range, based on previous research and analyst projections.

 
2.    How many florists, wholesale florists and floriculture growers are there in the U.S.?

The U.S. County Business Patterns states there were 16,182 florist establishments in 2010 (latest data available).

There are approximately 530 wholesale florists in the U.S., according to the WF&FSA, the wholesale florists association.

The USDA reports there are currently approximately 5,419 growers of floriculture crops in the top-15 states surveyed by the agency each year.  For information on all fifty states, collected every ten years, see USDA’s Census of Horticultural Specialties.

 
3.    What are the top flowers and plants?

The top-selling flowers based on stem counts are roses, carnations (standard), chrysanthemums (pompon), alstroemeria, tulips, lilies, mini-carnations. This ranking, by SAF, is based on total stem counts determined by adding the domestic production to the import figures.  

The top domestically produced flowers and plants are detailed here.

A link to flower import statistics by country and stem count can be found here.

Additional breakdowns of imported flowers by dollar value and country of origin are available here.

The USDA’s annual Floriculture Crops Summary counts the top green, flowering and bedding/garden plants produced in the U.S. Additional floriculture and nursery statistical information can be found on the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service website.

For assistance using the above links or interpreting the data, contact the SAF Research Information Department.


4.    Are there operational standards for running a florist shop?

There are no specific standards in the floral industry for running a business, however, an industry expert has supplied the following benchmarks. SAF’s Floral Management magazine focuses on shop operation and business practices. Other industry publications, including Flowers and Profits, Florists’ Review and Flowers& also provide information to help run a successful florist business. 

 
5.    How can I determine the value of a retail florist business to buy or sell?

Click here for a collection of articles on this topic. Additional information is available on request from the SAF Research Information Department.

 
6.    How has the economic recession affected the floral industry?

The floral industry has experienced considerable consolidation since the economic recession began in 2008. Businesses have learned to thrive by keeping their operations “lean and mean,” keeping costs in line and developing new markets and ways of conducting business. Today consumers have many additional gifting options, so the challenge remains for the industry to keep flowers and plants top of mind. Click here for an article on the declining number of retail florists.

 

See articles in Floral Management Magazine for business building tips.

 
7.    Where can I find information on the care and handing of flowers and plants.

A good place to start is with the Care and Handling section of the SAF website and the Care and Handling Manual.

Other sources of care and handling information include:

The Chain of Life Network

A search for “care and handling of flowers” using any popular Internet search engine will yield many additional resources.

Additional information is available on the SAF Aboutflowers.com website targeted to the public and media.

 
8.    I have been asked to speak to the media. What do you have to help?

Contact SAF for advice for dealing with the media.

 

 

Updated July 2014