The wholesalers established at Mercabarna-flor work with the forecast that during the three days of celebration, some 4,200,000 roses will be sold throughout Catalonia, 40% less than in 2019, the year in which the figure was reached of 7 million units.

The president of Mercabarna and councilor for Commerce, Markets, Consumption, Local Government and Finance, Montserrat Ballarín, explained the reason for these forecasts: «Above all,» she said, «we want this to be a safe San Jordi, That means, these three days will be dedicated for celebration: April 21, 22 and 23. Only the professionals of the green sector will have authorizations to put up sales positions in the street”. Therefore, this year we will not find the numerous rose stalls of entities and associations, common in a normal Sant Jordi, which increase the sales of this flower, since they favor impulse purchases.

According to the information given by Mercabarna-flor, this is good news for florists, because they will be able to recover a little the lost sales as a result of the pandemic, but the limitations of commercial space, warehouse and logistics that these businesses have, suggest that they will not be able to absorb all the demand. On the other hand, there is an increase in the tendency of companies that want to give roses to their workers to brighten up these difficult times a bit and thank them for the efforts made during the pandemic. Teleworking, however, complicates, in many cases, this initiative.

Likewise, as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Covid, and the fear of contagion, a significant increase in online sales of roses is expected, which will greatly favor companies that have a good technological platform and the necessary logistics to channel a good part of the sales through this channel. Of the total number of roses sold in Catalonia, Mercabarna’s wholesalers expect to sell a third (1,400,000 roses).


Colombia and Holland, the main origins

The forecast is that of the total number of roses sold in Mercabarna-flor, 62% will come from Colombia, 23% from the Netherlands, 12% from Ecuador and 3% will be of national origin. Everything seems to indicate that there will be more problems than expected to provide the rose variety most appreciated by Sant Jordi, Freedom, from Colombia and Ecuador, for the following reasons:

-Great increase in demand in the United States market, where the Valentine’s Day campaign was a great commercial success, which is expected to be repeated on Mother’s Day, causing a large part of the production of red roses in these two countries shall be dedicated to meet this demand.

-The climatic conditions of the last two months in Colombia and Ecuador have been very rainy, which has not favored the production of roses.

-There are few regular flights from these countries due to the crisis produced by Covid and they are more expensive than usual. 10% more expensive

As in recent years, the Freedom variety, of Colombian and Ecuadorian origin, will be the absolute protagonist of these days, accounting for 80% of red rose sales. The second best-selling variety will be the Red Naomi, from the Netherlands, which is expected to account for 15% of all red roses. The rest of the varieties will share the remaining 5%. The trend will continue to give roses of what we could call ‘garden’, with a larger bud, velvety petals and colors with a vintage air, and also the gift of miniature rose bushes. Longer-lasting freeze-dried roses will also dominate a small share of the market. Likewise, it will be possible to buy white roses, to thank the work of the health personnel during this pandemic, of the Mundial (Ecuador) and Dolomiti (Holland) varieties.

Decorated with sustainable ornaments

In addition to the traditional arrangements, this San Jordi we can observe two trends in the decoration of roses, one that will have a more naturalistic air, in which earth and cream colors will dominate and materials such as bark, wood, reeds, sackcloth or raffia; and another more colorful one, with colored paper wrappers and dry materials, which wants to give a little joy to the current situation created by the health crisis. Plastic packaging will be greatly reduced and will be replaced by natural, recyclable and sustainable materials.

The protagonists of the San Jordi-2021 presentation. From left to right: Jordi Valls, General Manager of Mercabarna; Montse Ballarín, president of Mercabarna and Councilor for Commerce and Markets and Miquel Batlle, president of the Mercabarna-flor Wholesalers Association, at the wholesale market . (Photography: Antonio Bofill).