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RenevanRemsRene van Rems Industry buyers, as well as design and merchandising professionals, want to know what the trends are. Well, sometimes good things don’t change (that much), and in downturn economies, few companies invest in research and development to upgrade their offerings.

In 2013, we will see more emphasis on established trends. Here are a few.

• “New” will always be an important element of marketing. But in floral, lots of forgotten flower species are making a comeback. Terms like “vintage,” “old-world” and “heirloom” are big. Just think of the commercial cut garden rose offerings today.

• Local product continues to be a big trend. Get your flowers to the ultimate user quicker and fresher. “Locally Grown,” “Farm to Table,” “Farm to Fork,” and other slogans are everywhere. I know buyers who are searching for local flower growers closer to their distribution centers. Fewer miles for more smiles!

• Long-lasting flowers are hot. Not only are they fresh, but some species just last longer than others: alstroemeria, Cymbidium orchids, tropical flowers, protea, etc. Since many customers don’t know flowers, they are impressed when they last longer than expected. This is especially true with Internet floral company offerings.

• Form flowers are moving to the forefront. Anything kind of weird seems to be hot, especially with younger generations. Orchids and succulents, are examples.

• From a design perspective, recycled glass is still big and placing flowers in water rather than floral foam seems to be an ongoing trend. Designing takes time and skill; working with floral foam takes even more skill.

• Consumer-ready designs offered to supermarkets by growers and distributors are on the rise. Today it is much more than a dozen roses arranged with leather leaf, Gypsophilla and a bow. I personally just completed a line of consumer-ready Cymbidium arrangements for an orchid grower in Santa Barbara County in California.

• Lifestyle is slowly becoming more important to even the most basic flower buyer, and it does carry over to what we offer in the local supermarket.

• Round forms are still in, using a mass of flowers in bouquets and arrangements. We are starting to see an increase again in garden flowers.

• “Bling” is everywhere and has moved from its fad phase to a trend phase, but I doubt it will become classic in flowers. Bling describes crystals, diamond dust, and anything else that glitters, almost painfully. In the meantime, it sells when it shines.

Rene van Rems is a floral designer who runs a consulting, marketing and publishing firm in Vista, CA, and a floral training center in Carlsbad, CA. He can be reached at 760/804-5800 or at Rene@renevanrems.com.