Study shows all generations buying more flowers

73 percent of Generations Y, X and Boomers surveyed said they have a "high appreciation of flowers."

A new study reveals that consumers of every generation have grown to appreciate flowers more and more over the past several years, and continue to buy flowers as gifts for other people and themselves.

The American Floral Endowment (AFE), in partnership with the Society of American Florists (SAF), conducted the 2016 Generations of Flowers Study. This study is an update to the 2009 SAF study exploring consumer perceptions of flowers and purchasing/gift-giving behavior among three generations: Generation Y (ages 22-39), Generation X (ages 40-51) and Baby Boomers (ages 52-70).
Nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of all three generations said they have a high appreciation of flowers, a significant increase compared to 2009 findings.

According to the study, flowers attract people through their senses and emotions:

  • Consumers strongly agreed the color of flowers adds to the impact of a gift (70 percent), the sight and smell can improve their mood (69 percent), and the fragrance is important to them (64 percent).
  • Nearly two-thirds of all study respondents feel special when receiving flowers as a gift and find flowers to be an emotional gift, while 60 percent said flowers have a special meaning unlike any other gift.
  • The study results for all three generations were similar in other ways:
  • Two in five consumers (40 percent) purchased flowers in the past year for home decoration, and 22 percent purchased them as a present for themselves.
  • 82 percent of consumers make gift purchases at local florists, including nearly two-thirds who shop in-person.
  • Just one-third (34 percent) said they don't purchase flowers more often due to them being viewed as too expensive. In 2009, nearly half of respondents identified cost as a barrier.

To download the executive summary and full report, visit

Photo courtesy of AFE

Editor's note: While the study focuses primarily on cut flowers, growers of traditional nursery crops can learn from this research, especially when it comes to building a gift-plant market.

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