4.2 million roses expected to be sold for St. George’s Day in Catalonia


The companies of Mercabarna-flor expect some 4,200,000 roses to be sold in Catalonia during the three days of St. George’s festivity. This is 40% less than in 2019, a year in which 7 million units were sold.

The president of Mercabarna and Councilor of Commerce, Markets, Consumption, Local Regime and Finance, Montserrat Ballarín, explained the reason for these forecasts. “Above all – she said – we want this Sant Jordi (St. George’s Festival) to be safe, and therefore, 3 days will be devoted to celebrate it: April 21, 22, and 23, and only the professionals of the branch will be authorized to have stalls in the street.” Therefore, this year we won’t see as many flower stalls selling roses as usual.

This is good news for florists because they will be able to recover some of the sales lost as a result of the pandemic, but the commercial, warehouse, and logistical space limitations that these businesses have made us foresee that they won’t be able to absorb all the demand.

There is a rising trend as regards companies wanting to give roses to their employees to brighten up these difficult times and thank them for their efforts during the pandemic. Teleworking, however, is a hurdle for such initiatives, in many cases.

Also, as a result of the restrictions imposed by Covid and the fear of contagion, a significant increase is expected in the online sale of roses, which will give an edge to companies with good technological platforms and the necessary logistics to handle the sales made through this channel.

Of all the roses sold in Catalonia, Mercabarna wholesalers expect to sell a third (1,400,000 roses).

Colombia and the Netherlands: the main suppliers
The forecast is that of the total number of roses sold at Mercabarna-flor, 62% will come from Colombia, 23% from the Netherlands, 12% from Ecuador, and 3% will be of domestic origin.

Three factors will cause rose prices to increase
Everything seems to indicate that there will be more problems than expected to supply the most appreciated rose for Sant Jordi: the Freedom variety, from Colombia and Ecuador, for the following reasons: 

  • Great increase in the demand from the United States, where the Valentine’s Day campaign was a great commercial success, and where similarly good results are expected for Mother’s Day, causing a large part of the red rose production in these two countries to be devoted to meet this demand.
    The weather conditions of the last 2 months in Colombia and Ecuador have been very rainy, which is not ideal for the production of roses.
  • There are few regular flights from these countries due to the Covid crisis and they are more expensive than usual.

These factors will cause the price of roses to increase by around 10%.

The Freedom variety will account for 80% of all sales
As in previous years, the Freedom variety, of Colombian and Ecuadorian origin, will be king these days, accounting for 80% of all red rose sales. The second most popular variety will be the Red Naomi, from the Netherlands, which is expected to account for 15% of all red rose sales. Other varieties will account for the remaining 5%.

The trend to give roses that we may call ‘garden roses’, with a larger bud, velvety petals, and colors with a vintage feel, will continue, as well as the trend to give miniature roses as a gift. Longer-lasting freeze-dried roses will also take up a small part of the market.

White roses of the Mundial (Ecuador) and Dolomiti (the Netherlands) varieties will also be available to thank health workers for their work during the current pandemic.

Also, the use of plastic wrappings will be greatly reduced. These will be replaced by natural, recyclable, and sustainable materials.

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