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New Plants and Products – the Lifeblood of the Industry!

Consumers, be they gardeners or not, are clearly attracted by new ‘stuff’. Hang a sign on some ‘stuff’ saying NEW and I’ll bet you get a response. Whatever it is, as long as the ‘stuff’ is new, good and we are not simply conning customers, then I don’t have a problem with it.

We asked a range of industry gurus for their comments.

The market needs regular new plant releases to keep gardeners enthused and inspired to garden. There are simply too many alternatives for people to spend their leisure dollar.

New plant lines, particularly well developed and marketed varieties, help with sales and therefore margin, but more importantly help bring the consumer into the store and help add on sales.

A perfect example is the perennial petunia ‘Raspberry Blast’, initially advertised in ‘About the Garden’ magazine (consumer magazine) and we could not keep up with demand. Demand for this new release is still continuing and we dedicated whole benches JUST to this product. It was what the consumer wanted – a well positioned product, marketed properly and appealed to consumers’ needs and wants. More new releases please!

Jason Searle,

GardenWay Home & Garden, QLD

New products mean a lot to us as they give us the content we need to keep newsletters, ads and catalogues fresh. People feel special when they have the latest, like they are getting something first. The really special thing about plants is that this person will always be the first to see the plant when it is 5 years old and will always be the first to see it when it is 10 years old. They get almost a lifetime of boasting about how they know more about this plant than anyone else. That may be so for a new fruit tree, but in the case of a new petunia, to know that this latest trend in fashion colour also flowers longer, is another key selling feature that can be used by our staff to get the sale at a good margin.

James Wall,

Gardenworld, Vic.

All ‘New’ plants are of interest to Bunnings as it allows us the opportunity to offer our customers something that they have not yet seen, provides a point of difference at value for money and adds to our widest range offer. The important thing for us is providing our customers with the lowest price and ensuring that the retail is right for that particular ‘New’ product.

We encourage all of our suppliers to submit any ‘New’ or standard products to the relevant state Greenlife buyers to be assessed. Once decided on, discussions are held to determine numbers required for the product launch and subsequent numbers if the plant is to become a medium to long term product.

David Hardie,

National Buyer- Greenlife, Bunnings Group Limited

With each new season there are many wonderful new plant varieties being released. New varieties allow industry to respond to changes in consumer and environmental trends, or in some cases, actually influence gardening trends. New varieties also provide valuable content for the media, which provides promotional opportunities that would otherwise be too expensive for most marketing budgets. Oasis Young Plants is constantly testing and releasing new varieties, such as Princettia® and Senetti®, that will hopefully bring enjoyment and inspiration to not only our customers but also to retailers and ultimately the consumer.

Matt De Ville,

Oasis Young Plants, NSW

New plant introductions are important for Ball Australia because:

We sell colour and visual impact, both at retail and in parks, gardens and patios. As an industry we must inspire people to make that trip to their retail outlet to buy new plants on a regular basis. We can achieve that by offering an assortment with variety in colour and form, from year to year and from season to season. For this, new plant introductions are vital to our business. New varieties, especially those with high visual impact, consistently generate the most interest from our wholesale customers each new season and offer the best opportunity for maintaining margins.

Gerry Boontjes,

Ball Horticultural Company, Vic.

The value of NEW. New, grabs attention, gets interest and creates demand! This reaction is for everyone, grower, retailer, home gardener, horticultural media etc. New is exciting and worthy of comment. A new product creates a new reason to send out company bulletins, and provides an advertising focus. Regular and good communication is noticed. From a marketing perspective a new variety to an existing range will put the spotlight on all the varieties in the collection, old and especially the new. New will encourage more visits to Garden Centres and the flow of demand from consumer to retailer, grower and breeder/propagator keeps our industry invigorated. Everyone wants what’s new!

Annette Marsh,

Ramm Botanicals, NSW

Plants Management Australia is an Australian based independent licensing and marketing company which manages the protection and introduction of new plant varieties across the globe. As such, new plant varieties are crucial to our business in order to maintain a competitive edge. Quality new products are essential to the industry. The introduction of new varieties in Australia allows growers and retailers to increase diversity within their portfolios and inject renewed enthusiasm into what they do. In turn, this stimulates public interest in horticulture and increases sales. New varieties provide an opportunity to set new benchmarks for profit margins and opportunities to increase quality control. They also offer the chance to explore new advertising and marketing strategies and different avenues to market.

Chris Sargent

Plants Management Australia, Tas.

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