Nowadays, it seems like everything has a trend. From diet and exercise to food and drink, there’s always something new capturing people’s attention. At Heinen’s, we’re always on the lookout for trends because they help us provide the most relevant products and services.
Finding new trends is no small task. In fact, many times the search takes our experts overseas! That’s the case for our Floral Expert, Megan, who recently traveled to Europe in search of the latest and greatest in all things floral! We had a chance to catch up with her for an inside peek into her findings from abroad.
When it comes to floral trends, you may think it’s all about the flowers. The flowers are very important, but after a career in the floral industry, Megan knows that it’s just as important to seek out unique ideas in packaging and presentation, design and logistics. Sometimes the best inspiration comes from traveling to other countries that view floral a little differently than the average American.
With this in mind, Megan traveled to IPM Essen, the world’s leading trade show for horticulture in Essen, Germany. Showcasing nearly 50 countries, this conference featured everything that Europe does in the floral industry from growing plants to getting the plants into the hands of customers.
This may seem overwhelming, but Megan went in wanting to discover new product varieties and innovation in presentation and packaging designs. Her goal was to bring her findings back to the U.S. and challenge Heinen’s partnered growers to help us implement these trends.
As she toured the show, she was most struck by new varieties of everyday floral items like Poinsettias and Primrose. In fact, one of her favorite finds was a Christmas Mouse Poinsettia that had rounded tips rather than the traditional pointed tip. She also discovered a variety of new trends in planter gardens that she hopes to bring back to Heinen’s in 2020.
Although IPM Essen was that main reason for this trip, some of Megan’s greatest inspiration came from day-to-day observations and interactions with locals where she discovered differences in the way Europeans and Americans purchase and use floral.
While touring Essen, Megan visited retailers and paid attention to the interiors and exteriors of homes. She noticed that unlike grocery stores in America that merchandise floral in beautiful pots and pot covers, European retailers allow customers to customize their arrangements by selling the floral and presentation pieces separately.
Customizing floral in a grocery store may seem like extra effort for customers, but it all made sense when Megan noticed that nearly every home, office or building in Essen was decorated with flowers and greenery. Even the gas stations had bouquets! This is not something you see every day in America, but that’s a cultural difference. While we see floral as a luxury item, Europeans see it as an everyday necessity.
From inside IPM Essen to outside in the everyday hustle and bustle of Germany, Megan came home with a variety of innovative floral finds, making her search for trends a success! We’re sure to see some of the ideas implemented into Heinen’s Floral Department throughout the year, proving that sometimes you have to step out of your own world to find the best!