Roses have become Britain’s number one supermarket flower, with more than 23 million bunches sold through the multiples in the past year.
Flower supplier Lingarden, based in Spalding, said its research showed that £85m worth of roses were sold by supermarkets in the past 12 months, overtaking the previous year’s favourite, lilies.
Lingarden said that in what was a boom year for flower sales in supermarkets, purchases of chrysanthemums, spray carnations, tulips, freesias, daffodils and carnations all rose. Tulips increased the most, with sales up 32% year-on-year.
Lingarden chief executive Malcolm Parkinson said: “It is great to see roses coming back into fashion. People want healthy, good-looking flowers that fulfil their promise of a long vase life and that is exactly what they get through the grocery sector.”
The most popular time to buy roses is, predictably, in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. This year grocery stores sold £6.5m worth of roses in the week prior to February 14, up 5% on 2004.
The week also sees men trading up to dearer bouquets and pushing the average price up 53% to nearly £6 per bunch.
For the rest of the year, however, shoppers don’t spend much on their blooms. Most spend between £2.99 and £4.99, although there has also been an increase in sales of bunches priced £9.99 and up.
Richard Clarke