To celebrate Valentine’s Day with florists around the U.S., we wanted to take a look at just what makes this day so special for our grocers, convenience stores, and florists worldwide and give thanks to the hero of keeping flowers fresh for Valentine’s Day—the floral walk-in cooler!
The History of Flowers as a Gift
People have been giving each other flowers for a long time. In fact, there is evidence that even in prehistoric times flowers were used for times of celebration and reverence, and continued into Greek and Roman times.
In the early 1700s, King Charles of Sweden introduced a new practice–an official language of flowers, or floriography. (There is some contention as to whether he invented the practice, or brought it over from Persia, where flowers could have meanings, but he seems to be credited with floriography itself) This new language introduced a new aspect to the gift of flowers–suddenly, a certain type of flower could signify what the giver (or the wearer) meant by the gift. Many of us know a few of these implications today–red roses are well known for romance, and yellow roses for friendship, for example–but the vocabulary actually extends to many more messages, both assigned by flower language’s creators and by cultures over time as flower language evolved.
For example, in one record of flower interpretation shown below (Image credit: user hamdn, Flickr) the (very specific!) message of the Sweet Briar is “I wound to heal.”
Although not particularly intuitive, this new language of flowers had the dual purpose of engaging those who used it as a new hobby (and probably getting quite a few young people who didn’t know the meanings in trouble!) and creating a new market for many types of flowers that might have been previously overlooked. Many other meanings were created as cultures and people began to create their own languages, some less specific than those listed above–white jasmine for sweet love, lavender for devotion, and so forth. Unfortunately, over time, many were assigned more than one meaning for both past and current cultural reasons–while the Old Farmer’s Almanac now lists basil as representing “good wishes”, the ancient Greeks actually used it to symbolize hatred, and Victorians carried this dislike into their own flower language, while in Portugal basil is still used today as a part of bouquets given to sweethearts–much more in line with the meaning of “good wishes”!
Today, the poppy flower has served since 1921 as a military symbol, meaning, “We will remember them.”
An official list released by Farmer’s Alamanc of 41 flower meanings can be found here.
Valentine’s Day Flowers Today
Today, our language of flowers often is a little simpler than the complex messages of the Sweet Briar–the message of any flowers as a gift of love is easy to read. In a day and age where pressing flowers into a book to dry them and send them to a sweetheart at home is no longer required, anyone can pick up a bouquet on their way home or even order one online.
The Flower Industry Continues to Bloom for Valentine’s Day
While it’s easy to wonder about the costs of installing a way to store your florals for Valentine’s Day, the market outlook is pretty good–the florists, grocery stores, and convenience stores with their own floral arrangements for the holiday are set to bring in $26.6 billion in flower sales collectively on Valentine’s Day alone. Although 40% of all holiday floral sales take place on Valentine’s Day, it’s not too late to get in on the action! While traditional florists and brick and mortar shops remain a staple of the industry for those picking up a bouquet on the way home, subscription, online ordering, and delivery are disrupting the industry. However, none of these go without a crucial step of the process–floral walk-in coolers to keep these arrangements fresh and beautiful!
Cold Storage is a Crucial Part of the Supply Chain
Of course, the use of walk-in coolers for storage and display of these flower isn’t just crucial to the sale, it’s incredibly convenient–and the young soldier pressing flowers in the Civil war just might be amazed! KPS Global specializes in bringing flower storage to your warehouse, grocery store, or florist shop–take a look at one of our 180 degree floral installation displays here. If you’re interested in learning more about KPS Global’s customizable floral cold storal solutions– Contact us today!