Antioquia’s Flower Producers Gear-up for Valentine’s Day Exports
Some 500 million Colombian flowers are expected to be exported in the run-up to February 14 (Valentine’s Day) – most of which will go to the United States, according to Asocolflores, the Colombia trade association of flower producers.
Antioquia is second only to Bogota in cut-flower production and export, with Valentine’s Day accounting for about 12% of annual Colombian flower sales. Some 1.5 million boxes of flowers are exported from Colombia in the run-up to Valentine’s Day, according to Asocolflores president Augusto Solano.
Although the current “El Niño” weather phenomenon in Colombia is creating conditions that stimulate frost, flower producers to-date haven’t reported problems, he said.
On the other hand, Ecuador’s decision to accelerate its exports of flowers this year might cut-into the typical 80% market-share of Colombia flower exports to the U.S., according to the trade group.
In addition, Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year, “historically not the best day for sales,” Solano added.
According to a recent study by industry consultant Prince & Prince, Valentine’s-Day sales are “better late in the week than during the weekdays.” The most-important categories of buyers include spouses over 35 (especially when the holiday falls on a weekend) as well as men and women in their middle-50s (regardless of the day of the week), according to the study.
About 44 million North American households buy flowers for the celebration, according to the study cited by Asocolflores.
The recent rise in the value of the U.S. dollar against the Colombian peso is fattening the profits of Antioquian and Colombia flower producers — combined with continuing innovations in flower-variety development (see “Metro-Medellin’s Flower Exports Bloom,” Medellin Herald, September 18, 2015).