Luxury Flowers

One of the things that comes up a lot when I talk to florists is the idea of a ‘luxury’ flower.  There is such a thing as a high-end, high-quality, bigger, better, bolder, and more fragrant flower.  And those flowers cost more.  Why?

Some of them are hard-to-get new varieties for which breeders charge a premium.

Some of them take more time and effort to grow. To get a really extraordinary, baseball-sized rose on a five-foot stem, you have to prune the plant in such a way that you might only get one rose every couple of months.  A smaller supermarket rose, on the other hand, might come from a plant that produces two or three blossoms per plant for month.  If a rose bush is only producing one rose every few months, you’ll have to charge more for it.

Same is true of lilies.  A bigger, bolder lily will come from a bigger, more mature bulb.  That bulb costs more.

To make a flower last longer, you will invest more in refrigeration and handling.  A flower that sits in a bucket at room temperature in a supermarket, or out on a sidewalk, won’t last as long as one that’s been in exactly the right climate-controlled facility.

But consumers, when they buy flowers, usually shop based on price.  A dozen pink tulips cost seven bucks at the supermarket, so why should I pay more?  We don’t really know how to tell a high-end flower from a regular flower.

Contrast this to, say, how we buy wine or chocolate.  Most of us know the difference between a Hershey bar and a Vosges truffle.  We know the difference between a bottle of Two Buck Chuck and a nice Alexander Valley Silver Oak.  Even if we’re not connoisseurs, we have a general notion that there is such a thing as premium wine or chocolate.

So why not flowers?  Here’s a florist in Charleston, SC who is trying to sell customers on the idea of luxury flowers.  They’ve created a brand called ‘Black Market Designs’ (OK, I’m not so sure about the name), and the idea is to offer up the ultimate flowers and the ultimate design. Check it out!