• Thu. Sep 22nd, 2022

Floriexpo 2022: A Sneak Peek at NA’s Largest B2B Floral Industry Event

ByStephanie M. Akbar

Jun 27, 2022

Floriexpo, formerly known as the International Floriculture Expo, is a B2B floriculture industry event that brings together industry professionals to network, expand their horizons, learn about floriculture and what’s new in the industry, and more. Whether wholesalers, suppliers, distributors or those who handle floral accessories such as containers and design, Floriexpo brings together companies from all categories of floriculture.

One of New Bloom Solutions’ missions is to help the floral industry innovate, connect and bloom – one way of doing this is to highlight and support new industry innovations and start-ups in all sectors.

I attended Floriexpo 2022 in Miami and was able to be part of the largest B2B floral event in North America. Being part of this type of event allows us to experience the latest innovations in the floral industry, and this year was no different at Floriexpo 2022. The following vendors and their booths stood out to me as some of the most innovative of the floral event.

The first novelty was BioFink LLC. I spoke to Barbara Fink, the president of BioFink LLC, about her 100% natural pots for all types of plants. Made from palm-free fibers, they are 100% sustainable. During the production of heart of palm, 90% of the production is waste. BioFink LLC uses this waste and turns it into jars.

Plus, these pots are great for many plants and flowers, including orchids. This is because the roots can grow into the walls of the pot, and the pots retain moisture and provide nutrients to the plant. As the pots are 100% biodegradable, there is no waste or negative impact on the environment. When the plants are ready to be planted, there is no need to remove them from their pots. They can be buried in pots or directly in the ground, which turn into plant food within two months. They also come in six different sizes, with more in development.

The idea emerged from those who are at the heart of the palm production process. The manufacturer’s father worked in the heart of palm production all his life and saw firsthand the waste it produced. Thus, he worked with universities and researchers in Brazil to design this product. BioFink LLC has been selling these jars for five to six years, but is only expanding into the North American market. According to Fink, Floriexpo was a great experience, connected her with many contacts and she is looking forward to attending the exhibition next year.

Image source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16Byx-I8EQE&t=24s

It was also great talking to Michael Gaffney, the CEO of the American School of Flower Design, about his new product, crazy about flowers. Gaffney’s brilliant idea came to him while he was at the kitchen table, contemplating the floral industry’s worst problems, namely cubes and cylindrical containers. Although everyone wants and uses them, flowers fall from them frequently, and florists and designers have to use tape to solve this problem. Along with extra effort and unnecessary work, it created a lot of waste. Gaffney knows the importance of cutting margins to make profits and sustain businesses, so he set out to improve this flawed design.

He collaborated with an engineer friend and created containers with beveled tops and angles, “like an inverted frog”. For this reason, the flowers can be arranged at any length and the top of the container holds them perfectly in place. In addition to the product “working like a dream”, it was very successful, with Gaffney selling them at Floriexpo and QVC. Whether bundled into the price of the arrangement or sold individually, these containers are a game changer.

According to Gaffney, 87% of respondents said that if the flowers lasted longer and they knew how to design arrangements, they would buy more flowers. Flower Crazy does just that by turning everyday customers into designers and giving them the tools to make their flowers look great. In addition, Gaffney includes flower arranging instructional videos with “Flower Crazy” that are displayed by floral departments or help the consumer use the product.

Kaitlin and Maria Cauchon are a mother and daughter team who own Photo Florals, LLC. Maria Cauchon is the creator of FrameStix©, a plastic frame that holds uploaded photos, business cards, gift cards, and more. This versatile product allows retail florists to sell their creations and increase their profits.

The idea was born from the prolonged hospitalization of a colleague and friend of Maria Cauchon. To send her best wishes, she took photos of all her co-workers and created an arrangement from them. This was before smartphones were readily available, and the gift “lit up her world”. The product took ten years to be developed and launched at Floriexpo 2022. Their experience at Floriexpo has been wonderful and they have generated a lot of interest from retail florists, supermarkets and even growers.

I had the pleasure of speaking with John Benzick, President of GoGo Flower. The idea for the business came to Benzick at the grocery store when he bought his normal supplies and wanted to buy a bouquet for his wife. He realized that he had no water and was not going home immediately, and that he would have to buy a separate vase and take care of the water. That’s when he decided to face this challenge head-on and found the perfect solution: a pre-filled pouch of water and flower food sold in grocery stores. In addition to being convenient for customers, the Flower Water TO GO would also be convenient for staff, who would not have to deal with the water issues caused.

Benzick pitched the idea to ten florists in three days, and seven out of ten florists assured him that it was a must-have solution that would benefit both customers and sellers. Today, GoGo Flower works with a number of florists and markets, including Kowalski’s. Asked about his experience at Floriexpo, Benzick said he appreciated all the feedback he received, that the price of admission was worth it and that he plans to return next year!

Attending floral events, especially those focused on collaboration and innovation, is very rewarding. Floriexpo 2022 has been one of this year’s best so far, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the floral industry at next year’s event! I apologize if I missed your innovation or Start Up. If you wish to be presented next year, do not hesitate to contact me via my personal calendar link or visit our website at https://www.newbloomsolutions.com/. I would like to thank the Floriexpo team for giving start-ups and innovations a place to present their products to the industry.


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