2021-10-14

The worldwide seed-industry – another busy year

The worldwide seed-industry – another busy year
 
Author:
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG

At the end of the 1990s, the worries were great! Many companies that had started selling seeds to hobby gardeners after World War 2 and had always grown suddenly had a problem. Seed sales had become more difficult because consumers preferred young plants or ready-made plants. How did this story continue? Yesterday's worry lines are gone, but…

At the beginning of the 20th century, there was a great shakeout in the market. Many traditional companies said goodbye as market participants. Very often these companies went bankrupt, others downsized and continued to operate at a smaller level.

We had two decades in which a serious number of seed companies did not survive 
We had two decades in which a serious number of seed companies did not survive

It was worth it to persevere! For the past 4 - 5 years, the demand for seed bags has been steadily increasing. In the time before Corona, the cause was a growing interest in nature and greenery among the younger generation. This positive development has received a significant push since March 2020.

A lot of seed ranges met the taste of the young generation. (Bild: Олександр Луценко - stock.adobe.com) 
A lot of seed ranges met the taste of the young generation.
(Bild: Олександр Луценко - stock.adobe.com)

No matter whether we look to Germany, Switzerland, France, the USA, or Australia. Everywhere the same picture in spring 2020 and 2021 – empty euro-hole hooks in the supply walls for seed bags. Never in the history of our industry has there been so much consumer demand.

A «normal» sales display for seeds at Bunnings in the UK in May 2020 
A «normal» sales display for seeds at Bunnings in the UK in May 2020
A limitation of seeds to be sold – very unusal for our industry 
A limitation of seeds to be sold – very unusal for our industry

In Q2 2021, for example, sales in Germany were 47 % higher for plants compared to 2019 and 12 % higher compared to 2020. We hear similar reports from all parts of the world. There are supply shortages for many seed varieties.

The innovations at variety level and assortments are significant. Most notably, we are hearing those sales of flower seeds are increasing. For decades, for example, we have been used to sales of assortments being split between 70 % vegetable seed and 30 % flower seed. Now this percentage is growing significantly in favour of flowers. There is a global interest among consumers to promote biodiversity. This is a great opportunity for seed trading companies around the globe.

Supporting the biodiversity is a huge desire of consumers these days  
Supporting the biodiversity is a huge desire of consumers these days

How much the companies would have wished for such a situation at the turn of the millennium. With innovative ideas, commitment and market knowledge, the members of the Media-Concept-Group remain your partner and look forward to the next challenges posed by the market.

 

Author:
Robert Wacker
Managing Director Media Concept Schweiz AG
Robert Wacker has been working in the green industry since 1980. For 20 years, he has been developing marketing and sales concepts for breeders, producers and retailers. As Managing Director of Media Concept Schweiz AG, he regularly writes articles for this blog.