If you’re in the flower business, you need to know what your competitors are doing. You need to know how their sales are going and why. You need to know which flowers are hot and which ones aren’t. And you especially don’t want to be caught flat-footed when a major event comes around like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s day.
This blog post with the latest flower industry statistics is a great way to stay in the game. There’s no such thing as too much information in the flower industry—and if there is, we’ll make sure that’s covered too.
The flower industry is, unsurprisingly, an industry that sells flowers. As far as the industry goes, it’s pretty big, considering the fact that they’re subjected to seasonal fluctuations and are dependent on human psychology and aesthetics.
You might not know this but many countries, including the US, UK, and even China, rely on net importing their flowers. Let’s see who the major global importers and exporters are and just how much money is involved. We’ll also consider some fun flower industry statistics that will make you think twice about specific holidays.
Flower Industry Statistics
The flower industry is huge and for good reason. It is a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide. In addition, flowers have a positive impact on the economy as a whole. Flowers have been used in art, lifestyle, culture, and rituals for thousands of years. In antiquity, humans have been using flowers to beautify themselves and their surroundings.
Here you’ll discover the latest statistics, trends, facts, and figures about the flower industry.
1. The average annual global floricultural growth in the last 20 years is between 6% and 9%
Floriculture specializes in cut flowers, loose flowers, bulbs, cut greens, seeds, and landscape plants and is a specialized branch of horticulture.
In 2018 the top ten producing and exporting countries of floriculture were as follows:
- Netherlands (52%)
- Columbia (15%)
- Ecuador (9%)
- Kenya (7%)
- Belgium (3%)
- Ethiopia (2%)
- Malaysia, Italy, Germany, Israel (1%)
2. The global cut flowers market is estimated to reach $41.1 billion by 2027
In 2020 the global cut flower market was approximately $29.2 billion. In the span of only seven years, the market is predicted to skyrocket a whopping 25%.
Roses alone are projected to have a 5.8% CAGR (compound annual growth rate), amounting to $14.3 billion alone.
3. The global orchid market is predicted to reach $7 million by 2027, up from $5 million in 2020
This might not seem like a lot compared to the other statistics in this list, but orchids play a vital role in human culture. Orchids are used in herbal medicines, cosmetics, and cooking.
In China, the continued use of orchids in medicines has been known to aid in snake bites and a cooling agent in stings. It has also been known to be used in herbal tonics for contraception and as an aphrodisiac.
The annual growth rate of orchids from this forecast is approximately 4.6% which is pretty significant. Compare that to other CAGRs, such as roses (5.8% CAGR ), which may be seen as being more popular, and you can tell.
4. The United States (US) flower market is worth approximately $7.9 billion
The USA led the world’s cut flower market back in 2020. The world’s second-largest economy (which is China) is only predicted to hit $8.5 billion in the cut flower industry by 2027.
This is due to Chinas CAGR, which in total is only 7.6% compared to that of the US industry rose CAGR, which is 5.8%.
However, China remains one of the fastest-growing markets in this sector.
5. There are about 33,000 florists in the US
If you have to take that number and divide it by how many states there are in the USA (50), you get a total of 660. That is not too many if you consider how big some states are.
Moreover, you will most likely get more florists in states or regions that are not able to grow vegetation that well (Western Arizona, Southern Nevada, Utah).
Then take into consideration that the approximate number of employees for the US floral industry is only 67,943. This means there are about two employees per flower shop if you have to divide the number of employees by the number of stores. That’s not too many at all.
Contemplate though how large in terms of billions of dollars ($7.9 approximately) this industry in the USA is.
6. Online flower shops in the United States gross an estimated $5 billion annually
If you have to consider that there are only about 1,100 online flower shops, you can imagine the revenue these companies are generating.
If we have to divide that revenue by the number of shops, the assumed “shared” revenue would be almost $1 million per shop per year.
That’s an incredible figure, not to mention this entire industry is run on approximately 3,500 individuals.
The two biggest companies that have the most market share for online flower sales are 1-800-Flowers.com and FTD Companies Inc.
7. Valentine’s Day Ranked Number 1 For Holiday Flower Purchases At 36% In The USA
Besides anniversaries and birthdays, holidays typically drive the floral industry. Valentine’s day ranks number one out of all holidays, including mother’s day and Christmas in the USA, capturing almost 40% of total sales.
You’ll be surprised to know that Halloween outranks boss’s day and father’s day on the list of total sales.
|Holiday||Percentage Of Sales|
|Christmas And Hanukkah||15.1%|
|Easter And Passover||8.9%|
|Administrative Professional’s Day||1.1%|
|St. Patricks Day||.09%|
8. The US imports over 78% of its flowers for Valentine’s Day
As you will see later, the majority of flowers that the US imports are from Columbia. Columbia exports a staggering 500 million tons of flowers for valentine’s day, and a large percentage of this goes to the USA.
9. 80% of florists’ romantic holiday sales are cut flowers.
You would think that most individuals would buy cut flowers for special occasions. However, a massive 20% account for uncut flowers in the USA.
Consider the millions of flowers that are given each year, and you might understand how much 20% were uncut and are sourced from gardens specifically.
10. In the US, tulips are the most popular cut flowers
Tulips are the #1 most sold cut flowers in the U.S. That’s according to both wholesale and retail businesses (yes, this DOES include online purchases). And that’s a lot of money: each year, sales revenue from tulip sales brings in $65.3 million.
But did you know that tulips actually have a long and fascinating history? Like did you know that they were once so popular that they caused one of the first speculative bubbles in history (dubbed “tulip mania”) in the 1600s? Or that originally, they could only be found in the wild in Southeast Europe and Central Asia?
With their long stems, delicate petals, and unique shape blooms, it’s no wonder people love tulips—they’re easy to care for and can be used as a decorative item all-around your home or apartment.
All in all, this shows that we’re a nation of tulip lovers!
11. Flowers are an incredibly lucrative business having 70% profit margins on average
In the cut-throat world of flower sales, florists enjoy surprisingly high-profit margins. Florists make 70% profit margins, meaning that for every dollar they spend on flowers and supplies, they get $1.70 back in return.
Think about it: who doesn’t love flowers? And although Valentine’s Day is the most popular holiday for flower sales, florists can make a killing year-round when they put their mind to it. Christmas, Mother’s Day, Easter, birthdays, graduations—there are plenty of occasions when people buy flowers.
12. Men spend an average of $95 on flowers, often giving more flowers than women
This statistic given by IMRA (International Mass Retailers Association) states women, on average, pay approximately $65 for flowers while men spend almost 30% more.
13. The average household spends $94.50 on flowers each year in the USA
If men spend approximately $95 and women spend $65 on flowers, then why is the average household’s total less?
In a family with two kids and a mother and father, the members are more likely to spend their income on more “relevant” items. This could include bills such as school fees, mortgages, etc.
14. 65% of Americans like to receive flowers
Besides this, 60% of all customers also believe that receiving or giving flowers has a special meaning. You can see this statistic at work due to 69% of all mother’s day gifts in 2018 being flowers.
Because of the large number of customers that like to receive flowers, customization and packaging are the elements that will likely drive growth and not the flowers themselves.
15. A floral designer’s median pay in the United States is $29,140 annually
The median wage for a floral designer in the USA is about $14.01 an hour. Median wage refers to the salary where half the labor force in that specific sector earned more, and the other half earned less.
16. A florist’s education level is typically a high school diploma or the equivalent.
You would understand that the level of education needed to become a floral designer is that of high school. All of the training required for competency is done “on the job” and is considered to be moderate in terms of difficulty.
17. Columbia and Ecuador provide the United States with 81% of its flowers.
Although the US industry of flower growers increased to 6,386 from 5,913 (that is almost 8%), they still consistently remain a net importer of flowers.
Some of their imported flowers from these regions include lilies, carnations, roses, orchids, tulips, and gerbera.
18. The pandemic led to a significant decrease in sales of flowers
Due to the fact that many shops (florists) were shut down due to the pandemic, the flower industry suffered severe losses in revenue. A major sector of the floral market revolves around weddings and funerals. These functions were to shut down due to the pandemic.
There was some recovery for the sector in 2021. However, it was still below pre-pandemic levels. Due to the pandemic, there will most likely be heightened revenue volatility until 2026, when the market is said to stabilize.
19. 40% of the world’s flower trade comes from the Netherlands
The Netherlands has been at the heart of the global cut flower trade for over 200 years. The Royal FloraHolland (an auction house in Aalsmeer) imports and then re-exports 40% of flowers from around the globe.
20. The Netherlands cut flower auction sales amount to €164 million monthly
In August 2021, after recovering from the pandemic, the auction house saw sales of this magnitude that it had not seen since measurements had started being collected in 2010.
In this month alone, the total sales volume was estimated at €463 million. Sales saw an increase in this month of approximately €30 million from the previous month, which is almost 20% increase.
21. The Netherlands floriculture market is expected to grow by 4.7% per year going forward
We discussed how the Netherlands imports and exports approximately 40% of the global flower trade. So why is their CAGR so low compared to China and the USA?
The pandemic brought havoc on the Aalsmeer auction house in 2020, plummeting sales by 21% during that respective period. Along with 320 bulb plants that were shut down between the periods between 2006 and 2016, the CAGR has suffered to a degree.
22. The European Union lost €1 billion in revenue on flower sales over six weeks of lockdown
Due to the downfall of the Royal FloraHolland auction house in the Netherlands in 2020 due to the pandemic, the EU flower market sales flatlined. Kenya also felt the impacts of this, as the Fair Trade foundation described the situation as a “humanitarian crisis.”
Since more than 100,000 flower farm workers in Kenya are paid low salaries, the impact of the EU losing almost €1 billion in 6 weeks, many flower farmers from Kenya were left vulnerable.
Arend Roses and Majorland are some of the largest rose growers in the Netherlands. Different varieties of roses that are grown here include Pink Avalanche, Red Eagle, Red Naomi, and Avalanch+. The market share for roses in the Netherlands sits at about 25%.
It is only surpassed by a collection of most other flower types. It even beats nursery stocks (trees, ornamental plants, grass sod, foliage plants, etc.) and dominates Tulipa, gerbera, orchids, lilies, freesia, and chrysanthemum. All these other types of flowers hold approximately a 5% market share depending.
24. The Netherlands represents almost half of all carnation imports to Europe
The Netherlands is a big player in the world’s carnation market. It represented 47% of all imports to Europe.
In 2015 the estimated imports worth of carnations were €211 million in the European Union. It was approximated that the Netherlands directly imported carnations without auctioning at a value of €46 million. This is above the auction house’s turnover for importing carnations that hit €17 million.
25. UK sales of cut flowers and ornamental plants were estimated to be £1.3 billion in 2018
90% of these flowers for the UK are imported, with the most significant share coming from the Netherlands.
Consider that the music industry in the UK is estimated at around £2 billion, and you might be able to contemplate how big the UK flower industry is.
The fresh-cut flower and indoor plant industry account for £2.2 billion. Out of this £2.2 billion, 60% of it represents individuals actually purchasing flowers, not for others but rather themselves.
26. Besides the Netherlands, the UK imports its flowers from Kenya and Columbia
The share of flowers that the is imported to the UK from the Netherlands has always been around 75%. Kenya’s share is typically 10%, while Columbia is 14%.
However, due to the pandemic in 2020, the Netherlands share dropped to 60%, allowing Kenyas to rise to 25%. As discussed, this is due to the Netherlands seeing plummeting in their auction house.
Moreover, the rose imports from Kenya rose a staggering 51% in 2020. This is due to the fact that one of the biggest exports the Netherlands has is roses, and it could not be fulfilled.
27. The average person in the UK spends about £36 per year on flowers and plants for their home
The average person in the UK will spend £9 on cut flowers for every £1 of indoor plants. This could possibly be because many individuals in the UK have gardens. Thus they spend a lot more time outside.
That’s a wrap!
After all the numbers, we can’t help but feel this sense of awe for the flower industry. It’s been a part of human history for so long, and its impact on our lives is not just limited to romance and weddings.
And this isn’t even mentioning how beautiful they are! I hope you enjoy looking at these stats as much as I did. What’s your favorite stat? Let me know!
If you want to get into the flower business, your best bet may be to start a retail floral shop. Floral shops make an average of $362,318 in annual revenue and with about 33,000 florist shops in the U.S., there should be plenty of opportunities for you to make a living doing what you love.
In the meantime, stay well and keep enjoying those beautiful flowers!
- Florists Industry in the US – Market Research Report
- Florist Business Plan
- Floral Designers
- UNITED STATES FLORICULTURE MARKET
- The 4,000 mile flower delivery
- The UK Market
- Global Cut Flowers Industry
- NETHERLANDS FLORICULTURE MARKET
- Online Flower Shops Industry in the US
- UK: Import of cut flowers from Kenya and Colombia up, Netherlands down
- Sources of Flowers Sold in the USA
- Cut flower auction sales revenue in the Netherlands from January 2018 to August 2021
- Orchid Market by Product Type
- FLORICULTURE-WORLD WIDE PRODUCTION, TRADE, CONSUMPTION PATTERN
- Exporting carnations to Europe
- How the Covid-19 pandemic hit the cut-flower chain