When the global pandemic forced everyone to shelter at home, home seed gardening exploded. The biggest sellers, by far, have been organic vegetables. People wanted to get outside, were concerned about the economy, concerned about food scarcity and needed activities they could do with family members; growing a Victory Garden returned as a popular solution. Botanical Interests co-owner Judy Seaborn says, “Growing my own vegetables meant I could harvest fresh produce for meals, saving me countless trips to the grocery store.” With the increased demand for seed, many seed suppliers closed up and stopped shipping before the end of the season. Botanical Interests was proud to continue shipping throughout the season and even extended the shipping season into summer as high demand continued.
The New Gardener
The pandemic has been given credit for motivating up to 16 million new gardeners. These gardeners were looking for information but also interested in “going green” by using eco-friendly products such as biodegradable plant pots and garden stakes and organic fertilizers and pest controls. Botanical Interests co-owner Curtis Jones commented, “We received a lot of feedback from garden centers that our packets were a huge hit with new gardeners. New gardeners appreciated all the information on the outside and inside of our seed packets, including sowing in instructions for inside and outdoors, seed and row spacing, days to maturity, height, and the list goes on! Many of our retailers report that providing information to the new, many times younger, customer base is one of their biggest challenges. Botanical Interests seed packets are the perfect tool with which to help store employees educate new gardeners.”
Seed packet companies have been replenishing inventory and getting ready for what looks to be another busy season. Botanical Interests is excited to launch some cool new varieties like the ‘Clancy’ potato. What’s more intriguing than a potato grown from seed? ‘Clancy’ potato grows in a diversity of colors, has great storage quality, and is a 2019 All-America Selections award winner! If flowers are what your consumers are garden-dreaming about, the ‘Amazing Grey’ poppy is beyond compare and on target to capture interest with current popularity of the color grey. Its beautiful shades of silvers, greys, purples, and blues are sure to grab attention; and it’s another award-winner!
Direct Ship Program
A trend from the pandemic that will likely not change is the shift to ordering online. Retail stores are a priority for Botanical Interests, so in order to support them, Botanical Interests developed the Direct Ship Program. The Direct Ship Program is easy to sign up for, too. Give them a call at 1-800-486-2647, and they’ll get you started and send a special display attachment to attract customers. Once you have the program link set up on your website, customers can order online and then the order is filled and shipped directly to them. Most importantly, you receive a commission on every sale made from your website. You can offer all of the Botanical Interests varieties and products even if you only have one spinner in your store. Your website does not need to have a shopping cart. Win-Win!
What’s Next in 2021
Judy and Curtis look forward to a new season; “Botanical Interests learned a lot from last year — how to be flexible and resilient so we can take care of our stores that take care of us.” The seed industry shows no signs of slowing down, and Botanical Interests has been gearing up for another season of inspiring and educating new and experienced gardeners. Is your seed category robust enough to satisfy demand?
For more information, visit botanicalinterests.com