Consumer choice of cut flowers and pot plants : a study based on consumer panel data of households in the Netherlands

A. van Tilburg

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


<p/>The objectives of the study were to relate aspects of consumer behaviour on cut flowers and pot plants to marketing variables and characteristics of households, to determine whether market segments could be found, and to determine the applicability of methods and models developed to the market research in the flower industry.<p/>Several categories of flower and plant buyers were distinguished, in increasing order of buying frequency, occasional, nonhabitual and habitual buyers. The depth of analysis varied with buying frequency. Habitual buyers were assumed to select flowers and plants according to a multistage choice process consisting of a budget, priority and choice stage. For each stage, differences in parameter estimates between households, reflecting the response to marketing or market variables, were related to socio-economic en demographic characteristics.<p/>The variables, living in the west or east of the country, and living in municipalities of more than 30 000 inhabitants, were found to be positively related to expenditure on flowers and plants, whereas the variable, having a positive attitude to housekeeping, was found to be negatively related to this expenditure.<p/>The mean price elasticity of the demand for flowers and plants was -0.28 for nonhabitual and -0.81 for habitual buyers (budget stage). For those habitual buyers purchasing in all three subclasses distinguished (55%), the mean price elasticity was -0.86 for flowers, -0.87 for flowering plants and -0.96 for green plants. Purchases of flowers were the least affected by price fluctuations in other subclasses (priority stage). In the choice stage, an increase in relative prices seemed to have caused a small decrease in the marketing attraction of a particular type of flower. The effect of national advertising on demand was higher in seasons when demand was increasing than in seasons when demand was decreasing.<p/>From an analysis of the results for all three stages of the multistage choice process, the following segments of habitual buyers were distinguished. The first segment (44%) was sensitive to price changes, but insensitive to national advertising and consisted of those, either living in the west in urbanized municipalities, or living in the east or south and being under 30 years of age. The second segment (40%) tended to be insensitive to both price changes and national advertising, and consisted of those, either living in the west in a rural municipality, or in the east or south and over 30 years of age. The third segment (13%) was sensitive to changes in price and advertising and consisted of habitual buyers in the highest social class and living in the west, east, or south of the country.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Meulenberg, M.T.G., Promotor
  • Corsten, L.C.A., Promotor
Award date7 Dec 1984
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789067540599
Publication statusPublished - 1984


  • policy
  • consumers
  • cut flowers
  • pot plants
  • ornamental plants
  • netherlands
  • consumer affairs
  • indoor culture


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