The 2023 Valentine's Day Outlook
Updated: 2 days ago
Just when we thought Valentine's Day 2022 was a whirlwind, 2023 seems to be off to an unpredictable start. The economic outlook changes every day and fear of a recession is believed to be holding back consumer spending. Poor weather is affecting production, as farmers poise to ship thousands of roses for the holiday.
The predictions for Valentine's Day 2023 are mixed, but here are some trends:
Production is always dependent upon weather. Weeks of rain and cloudy weather in both Colombia and Ecuador have made rose production difficult, and all supplies are expected to run short, especially 60 and 70 cm roses. The lack of sun affects the maturation of the rose and ultimately the length of the stem. A few sunny days can make all the difference - but the forecast is still calling for rain.
Rose shipments are expected to run later than usual, as farmers give the plants more time. This could create a domino effect from farm to florist. The next few days are crucial in determining where supply levels will be and at this point no one really knows.
While some suppliers feel they will meet cut flower consumer demand, ultimately Mother Nature decides the outcome. We have already been seeing products affected by weather (freezes in Florida, floods in California), so some greens and every day flowers might be priced higher than expected over the holiday.
Freight pricing is stabilizing, as gas prices have decreased - but transportation prices will remain high.
According to the National Retail Federation, spending on Valentine's Day last year was $23.9 billion - the second highest spending year. The highest was $27.4 billion in 2020.
The holiday is expected to be flat for retailers; however, the Tuesday holiday and no day off on February 13, might help sales for florists.
Here are some industry thoughts from suppliers and growers, as published by the recent blog in Flowersandcents.com. These were published a few weeks ago, but that was then and the outlook is changing every day.
"Initial customer pre- bookings are good compared to 2022; however, we will see a slow down over the next week or so. Expectations are for a flat holiday."
"There is no reason why florists shouldn’t have a strong holiday with a pro-active approach to marketing their holiday within the delivery area communities."
"The Pandemic high has definitely been worn out. Pre-book numbers are below 2022, 2021, maybe even with 2019 numbers."
"Customers are playing it safe and expecting glut of open market products, but, no one knows if that will be the case."
"Freight costs, both inbound air cargo and outbound truck fees will stay high as last year. They went up, and will not come down."
"Once again, if you have strong relationships with your vendors, and deliver quality and top service, it will be a good holiday."
"Customers should be weary of low prices because the cost of productions and freight have not gone down. But it’s a Tuesday Holiday with no day off on that Monday so florists should do very well."
All in all, the reviews are mixed in our industry and no one has a crystal ball. It's hard to predict if the consumer will be feeling the love this holiday and if Mother Nature will cooperate.
“Without Valentine’s Day, February would be…well, January.”