Research initiative looks toward future of horticulture industry

SH_FT_940x330_4A new research initiative launched by AmericanHort and its research endowment, the Horticultural Research Institute, aims to shed light on the future of the horticulture industry and the most effective ways for horticultural businesses of all sizes to meet consumer expectations today and in the future.

Called “Shift,” the research effort will be ongoing for at least the next few years, according to AmericanHort, examining how businesses in the horticulture industry can help ensure their future profitability. It will include the production of training pieces for employees, webinars, educational sessions at various AmericanHort events, content in industry and association publications, as well as marketing and communication strategies.

Information on Shift on the AmericanHort website outlines the need for such an effort this way: “With a shrinking Baby Boomer population – formerly the industry’s bread-and-butter at a population of 75.4 million in its prime and expected to only be 16.6 million by 2050 – and a rising Generation X and millennial generation (total population 140.6 million by 2018), the handwriting is on the wall: Consumer shopping and lifestyle habits at-large are changing across generations and demographics.”

Mark Foertmeyer, owner of Foertmeyer and Sons Greenhouse and chairman of the AmericanHort board of directors, says in a news release that the initiative is important to the industry “because a shift in marketing and retailing of our products is critical in giving thought to our customers, and how they interpret what we do. They don’t see it the way we do.”

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