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.