Flower Shortage Causes Rise In Prices For Mother’s Day
MURRAY, Utah — If you have been looking for flowers for Mother’s Day, one Utah businessman said prices were on the rise this year.
While he doesn’t sell directly to the community, a big part of his job is getting flowers to Utah in the first place. He said shipping challenges, as well as unseasonable storms, have caused parts of the supply chain to wither.
Spencer Hansen’s love of flowers has grown throughout his life — he even helped arrange bouquets for a company called “Flowers Squared,” located at Temple Square.
“They’d go through the catering office, and then they’d stop by the flower shop,” he said. “We’d talk about what they want for flowers and it was just kind of a full-service event place.”
Hansen is now the president of a local wholesale company called Esprit Raw Flowers.
“I like the business end of it better,” Hansen said. “It’s just a little more my speed.”
They have sold flowers to event planners and stocked the shelves of local florists and grocery stores.
If there’s one thing nearly every one of his petals had in common: they were all imported.
“Africa, New Zealand, New Jersey, California,” Hansen said. “The easier question is where don’t we get them?”
Due to Utah’s climate, most of our flowers were grown somewhere else, and that means businesses like Hansen’s have depended heavily on the supply chain.
“You’re really trying to choreograph thousands of different bunches of flowers in a given week, trying to get it all on to one plane, all on to one truck,” he said.
For those who haven’t kept track, the cost of flowers is on the rise. According to Hansen, they’ve gone up about 30%.
Many flowers are shipped on commercial flights, which are down due to the pandemic, but the available cargo space is often filled.
“Flowers just aren’t the priority right now for shipments,” Hansen said. “Right now, it’s the vaccines and the PPE that they’re primarily focused on shipping out.”
Hansen said there was another reason for the rise in prices.
“It’s just the perfect storm of everything,” he said.
He meant that literally.
Many of his roses come from Ecuador, which recently lost entire crops due to an unexpected winter storm.
“This year, we’ve just been getting pictures of greenhouses covered in snow,” Hansen said. “They lost an entire 90-day crop cycle, so they had to replant it. Supply’s down, demand is up, prices are up.”
While this all sounded negative — like the entire business may be on the verge of wilting — Hansen said prices were overdue for a correction.
“I don’t think people get paid enough,” he said. “They need a livable wage, and I think people are kind of sticking up for themselves at this point.”
As for what this means for local consumers, it has taken Esprit a few extra days to fill orders for specific kinds of flowers event planners were asking for.
Aside from elevated prices, Hansen doesn’t think many consumers are very concerned with what types of flowers they’re buying for their moms, and are generally happy with whatever they can find.
Like most businesses, everything runs based on demand, which Hansen said actually rose during the pandemic.
He added that many Americans decided to send flowers to people they couldn’t see in person. So regardless of prices, Hansen said it appears he and his business won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
“What this shows me is that Americans just want more flowers,” he said. “So it’s going to be a great thing for the floral industry as a whole.”
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