feature story

back to nature:

Consumers are embracing clean lines, outdoor-inspired colors and organic influences.

by Amy Bauer


We asked some of the top container manufacturers and suppliers about the trends in containers for 2008, and here we share with you some of the hottest looks. While they are a staple in a florist’s product arsenal for floral design and gift baskets, containers have expanded their role as gift items and home accent pieces in their own right. And some of the same trends influencing floral design—the eco-friendly movement and more natural materials and colors for the home—are evident in this category as well.
The natural theme is strong, experts agree, and is being reflected not only in the organic shapes of containers and the natural materials from which they are formed but also, in some cases, by the motifs that appear on the containers themselves. “Anything nature-inspired is hot, hot, hot,” says Steven Rose, marketing coordinator for burton + BURTON. “Containers with butterflies, ladybugs and birds have done very well, and we expect this trend to continue.” 
David Clark, director of sales for Syndicate Sales, Inc., says many of the color trends from 2007 will remain strong but that colors inspired by the outdoors, such as greens, browns and wines, are strengthening. “As the neutral tones emerge in the interior design market, the floral industry will find complementary colors to make these naturals pop,” he describes. And Margaret Hofland, marketing manager for Accent Décor, Inc., explains, “There is no standalone color. It is all about color combinations.”
• Greens  
• Browns
• Blue and green with natural brown accents
• Black and red with metallic neutrals
• Berry and wine hues  
• Silver, on its own and as an accent
• White and gold
• Black and white
• Bronze metallicsi
While glassware remains a top category, a newer twist is the addition of recycled glass options. Other natural materials, such as wood, also are finding favor. But containers are available in a wealth of finishes to fit any application. And in some cases, production costs have manufacturers embracing alternatives. For example, Hewley Helstone, creative director for Jamali Garden Supplies, says the costs of some metals, particularly those produced overseas, are climbing, so lower-cost alternatives such as domestically produced iron are being chosen in some cases.
• Mercury glass 
• Recycled glass 
• Resin 
• Galvanized metal
• Wood, bamboo 
• Plastics
• Ceramics, combining glazed and unglazed finishes
• Fabrics and flexible plastics used as pot covers
• Indoor/outdoor finishese
Victoria Chester, vice president of Vacuum Orna-Metal Company, Inc., says she’s seen oversized containers and dramatic proportions, such as those provided by containers on risers, taking off in the marketplace. And modern geometric shapes continue to be favorites with consumers, though traditional shapes still hold their own.
• Architectural shapes, sleek and clean
• Geometrics: cylinders, cubes, cuboids, etc.
• “Tradition with a twist,” where additional uses or textures are applied to familiar container shapes
• Container “jewelry,” or elements that tie on or attach with magnets to enhance the presentation   
• Small, single-stem containers
• Dramatic proportions, such as containers elevated on risers
• Oversized containers
Contact Amy Bauer at abauer@floristsreview.com or (800) 367-4708.
Syndicate Sales, Inc.
burton + BURTON
Vacuum Orna-Metal Company, Inc.


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