Danziger has a wide range of consumers. Our immediate consumers are the growers, but we also cater to the importers, wholesalers, retailers and lastly to millennial consumers. Each one along the retail chain has different needs; in addition to the art of breeding, we are required to integrate the different needs of our consumers.
Each player has his challenges. Understanding the needs and desires of the other players along the retail chain is essential.
Growers require a product that is easy to grow, high yielding, sells well and has a good return. On the other hand, the retailer needs to envision the customer's taste and keep up-to-date with market trends and decide which products to offer, how to market them, where to place them on the shelf and how to increase overall consumption. The millennial consumer is price conscious but still cares about the opinions of others, and aims to impress guests.
Yet, all along the chain, we share the same goals: We need to breed high-quality flowers and create new ideas for uses of flowers. We need to make sure that the flowers are readily available in multiple different retail locations; supermarkets, convenience stores, and the Internet (for online ordering), among others. We also need to present the flowers well. This will encourage our consumers to buy the flowers, and illustrates the different traditional uses (homes, gifts, holidays, events), as well as alternative uses.
At PMA, we have learned that the millennial consumer is looking for an experience, something to share with friends, something meaningful yet simple. He values his home and physical surroundings. We try to engage our final consumers with DIY videos of different arrangements that can be created with our products. We understand that innovation should be ongoing, hence we introduce new varieties and crops constantly.
Since the dynamics of needs are ever-changing, we need to be on the ball. We can actively impact demands, if for example we come out with a great product yet to be seen, new colors, extended vase life and new uses. But this will flourish through cooperation: The breeder can breed an innovative variety, but must still communicate its advantages to the fellow links along the chain. Also, the expertise of a professional grower able to grow high-quality products is key, while the ability to pass that onto a good retailer, importer, wholesaler and so it progresses along the chain, is equally important.
For example, at Danziger, we also breed annual and perennial bedding plants. We've attained good working relations with two large suppliers in the U.S. The suppliers define the desired characteristics of the product, and we exert our breeding efforts accordingly. We then introduce our varieties to these suppliers, two to three years before they reach the market. This gives the suppliers the opportunity to choose the most promising varieties for their corporation. In addition, we plan our trials and future production together with our growers.
Take Million Stars, for example: This variety was a game changer throughout the supply chain. It worked for all of us, from breeder to grower, importer, wholesaler, retail chain, florists, designers and consumers; because it was something no one had seen before, and it certainly drove consumption of Gypsophila.
Now if we would come up with a product that lasts three weeks for the consumer, comes in a range of colors, available all year-round, this would certainly impact consumption. A great product that brings added value to the consumers will increase demand in the entire flower market. We strive to meet the needs of all our consumers and believe that an open flow of information between the players along the chain can benefit us all.
We were happy to attend the PMA Fresh Connections: Floral event. It was a great opportunity to meet our friends in the cut flower industry, as well as new colleagues, spend some time together and strengthen connections along the chain.
Moreover, PMA is a great platform to share ideas, plow through the challenges we all have, and brainstorm the possibilities and approaches we should follow to lead us into the future.
We were able to learn and understand the needs of further links in the chain and not only the ones adjacent to us breeders. We broadened our knowledge of the millennial consumer and digital marketing, which already play a very important role in our industry.
PMA gave us the opportunity to strengthen our links: This is the key to our joint success.