Man’s duplicity has claimed an unexpected victim in the shape of the cut flower industry. Florists and retailers are expecting to report lower sales of flowers this Valentine’s Day as the romantic event falls on a Saturday, The Grocer can reveal.

Anecdotal evidence reveals that married or attached men are unable to send flowers to their various lovers’ home addresses as easily as they could to offices, according to Andrea Caldecourt, chief executive of the Flowers & Plants Association.

“Sales dip and florists don’t like it,” she said.

When Valentine¹s falls on a weekday, men can serenade their lovers in the relative safety – or anonymity – of the workplace.

However, they may not know the ladies’ addresses to send them flowers at home, or may not want to run the risk of revealing the relationship by doing so.

Women are becoming more demanding too. Instead of red roses women are asking their men for amarylis, red tulips, orchids and fragrant hyacinths and lillies, Caldecourt said.

“Women want something more unusual or something that reflects their personal tastes,” said Caldecourt. “It shows their men have been paying attention to what they like.”

The Flowers & Plants Association has been encouraging consumers to consider other cut flowers to create interest in a wider range of produce and relieve pressure on rose suppliers.

Flower sales generally are defying the credit crunch and holding up well, Caldecourt said. “People have so much stuff that this year they are looking for more experiences and pleasurable moments,” she explained. “Flowers fit into that.”