Floral professionals: do you have an opinion about Millennials? Fairly or otherwise, many people have formed an image of our young friends born in the 80s and 90s, a stereotype that doesn’t always include the words “hard working” or “responsible.” This includes many of us in the floral business. If you are one of those people, looking out toward the horizon and questioning the future of Floriculture, fear not! FLORALIFE® brings good news!
Millennials in Floriculture: They’re Interested…
The future of horticulture and floriculture begins with INTEREST. Do millennials have it? Some studies suggest they DO. In an article in the UK trade The Florist states: “statistics have been published to prove that the green trend is rising among millennial consumers, with younger households enjoying gardening at an all-time high of 29%.”
This interest is stirred by the celebrities they follow on social media, particularly picture-happy Instagram, and is producing stats like these:
- 72% of millennials have helped someone else with their gardening
- 79% have grown a plant
- 75% enjoy growing plants but do not have the space
- 51% watched a range of TV gardening programs
- 7% would consider horticulture as a career
…But they Need Direction
So, if a horticultural interest is taking root (sorry!), then the next step should be training and exposure to the professions. This is where those of us in the trade can ALL make a difference! FLORALIFE®, AFE, and Clemson University are doing their part with summer internships. And next-gen floral pro Hannah Keyton is our newest alumna.
How Hannah Spent Her Summer
A Clemson senior majoring in Agribusiness, Hannah Keyton found FLORALIFE® by way of Horticulture prof Dr. James Faust, and AFE Executive Director Debi Chedester. They put her in touch with Jim Daly, VP of FLORALIFE® /Grower Global Operations and Corporate Research and Dr. Anil Ranwala, Manager of R&D.
Hannah spent her summer at the FLORALIFE® Walterboro SC headquarters, dividing her time between the Marketing and Research departments. It was a summer spent doing anything and everything (the typical intern drill!) but Hannah has come away invigorated, and eager to pursue new avenues. She sums it up this way:
“During my time with FLORALIFE® this summer, I have learned so much about cut flowers and I have a totally new appreciation for them as well. When I was looking for an internship, I had always wanted to work in the floral industry. I just never thought it was possible because I had no previous experience. It was truly amazing being able to combine my business knowledge with my admiration for flowers and floriculture.
“I would like to take this time to truly thank my professors, AFE, and the Del Demaree family for connecting me with an internship I had no idea was out there. And FLORALIFE®…thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms this summer, for the education, and for giving me this opportunity.”
And, in keeping with the topic at hand, Hannah has a word for her millennial friends and associates: “Don’t be afraid to go outside your norm. There are so many positions and opportunities in the Floriculture industry and endless opportunities to grow and become successful. All the cut flower research I have completed has given me such an appreciation for floral care. It inspires me to read more, learn more and to continue to expand my mind. That being said, let your passions surprise you!”
FLORALIFE® Embraces the Next Generation of Floral Pros
Where are the next generation of flower growers, researchers, wholesalers, retailers and designers going to come from? They are already among us, even if they don’t know it yet. Their interest is growing, so embrace them! Be like your pals at FLORALIFE®, AFE, and Clemson U…point the way, and expose Millennials to the many opportunities available in Floriculture!
Stock photos: FlowerFactor, freedigitalphotos.com/imagerymajestic