Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Flowers

Worldwide sales of imported fresh-cut flowers including flower buds suitable for bouquets or other ornamental purposes totaled US$7.8 billion in 2020.

Global purchases for flowers imported on international markets have flatlined, down -1.1% from 2016 to 2020. From 2019 to 2020, the dollar amount spent on imported flowers worldwide dropped -9.6%.

The 5 most attractive global consumer markets for selling imported flowers attained 62.7% of all imported flower sales during 2020. The highest cashflows were generated by buyers in: United States (19.7% of worldwide total), Germany (15%), Netherlands (13.6%), United Kingdom (10.1%) and France (4.4%).

Among these 5 leading markets, the lone year-over-year buying increase was the 7.5% gain from importers in the Netherlands.

Fresh-cut flowers can be purchased online from multinational companies that offer international delivery. These including Amazon, Florists’ Transworld Delivery (FTD) and 1-800-Flowers,

By comparing changes in consumer demand for imported flowers by buyer country, we can uncover the most attractive opportunities for selling flowers and related products and services on international markets.

Flowers Are Consumer Convenience Products

Flowers satisfy the criteria of a consumer good (also called an end product) created for consumers to buy in its final form for gifting or personal use. In contrast, products like turbojets are usually purchased by companies or government entities rather than individuals.

Economists classify flowers as a convenience product, a technical classification for goods that are easily accessed and frequently purchased. Fresh-cut flowers can be purchased at many retailers from grocers to flower shops. Consumers often buy flowers for special events such as Mother’s Day, weddings or student graduation days.

Expiration dates depend on the type of fresh-cut flowers. Roses and lilies can last up to 10 days while consumers can keep carnations and chrysanthemums for 2 weeks or longer.

Please note that the overall metrics documented in this article include dried, dyed, bleached, impregnated or otherwise prepared but flowers and buds.

Searchable Table: Overall Flower Imports by Country

The sortable table below showcases marketing intelligence for the top 100 buyers of flowers, ranked in descending order starting with the greatest annual sales amount at the 4-digit Harmonized System (HS) code level. The HS code prefix is 0603 for fresh-cut flowers and flower buds of a kind suitable for bouquets or ornamental purposes.

Also shown is the percentage of the world’s total purchases of imported flowers in 2020, as well as the change in those sales from 2019 to 2020.

RankImporterUS$%Total2019-20
1United States$1,535,472,00019.7%-4.3%
2Germany$1,169,086,00015%-2.2%
3Netherlands$1,063,308,00013.6%+7.5%
4United Kingdom$785,557,00010.1%-7%
5France$340,785,0004.4%-10.9%
6Japan$324,657,0004.2%-9.9%
7Russia$271,242,0003.5%-13.2%
8Belgium$220,373,0002.8%-7.9%
9Switzerland$163,392,0002.1%-4%
10Italy$152,083,0001.9%+2.2%
11Poland$151,574,0001.9%-17.4%
12Denmark$129,554,0001.7%+5.8%
13Canada$102,678,0001.3%-18.7%
14Czech Republic$99,963,0001.3%-3%
15Austria$99,877,0001.3%-19.8%
16Sweden$88,359,0001.1%+4.4%
17Spain$86,068,0001.1%-21%
18Norway$78,451,0001%-0.4%
19Ireland$63,020,0000.8%+13.2%
20Saudi Arabia$61,726,0000.8%-9.6%
21Lithuania$53,984,0000.7%-8.2%
22Australia$50,824,0000.7%-0.4%
23Romania$49,829,0000.6%-17.3%
24Finland$45,433,0000.6%-3.7%
25China$45,110,0000.6%-27.9%
26United Arab Emirates$36,583,0000.5%-27.3%
27Slovakia$36,021,0000.5%+5.7%
28South Korea$34,197,0000.4%-7.3%
29Thailand$33,769,0000.4%-6.2%
30Singapore$32,012,0000.4%-17.4%
31Kazakhstan$29,795,0000.4%-29.1%
32Belarus$28,591,0000.4%-92.2%
33Hungary$26,919,0000.3%-9.3%
34Vietnam$21,719,0000.3%+21.5%
35Latvia$20,907,0000.3%+3.1%
36Portugal$20,685,0000.3%-22.3%
37Kuwait$18,753,0000.2%-23.7%
38Hong Kong$15,541,0000.2%-43.8%
39Ukraine$13,865,0000.2%+44.4%
40Slovenia$12,419,0000.2%-14.2%
41Chile$12,404,0000.2%-51.3%
42Luxembourg$12,148,0000.2%-5.6%
43Greece$11,848,0000.2%-28.7%
44Qatar$11,435,0000.1%-35%
45Estonia$11,328,0000.1%0.26
46Croatia$11,172,0000.1%-20.9%
47Bulgaria$9,538,0000.1%+2.6%
48Colombia$6,753,0000.1%+21.2%
49Malaysia$5,476,0000.1%-31.3%
50Serbia$4,814,0000.1%-9.2%
51Moldova$4,476,0000.1%-22.6%
52Panama$3,506,0000.04%-37.8%
53Bahrain$3,426,0000.04%-37.2%
54Taiwan$3,379,0000.04%-14.4%
55Albania$3,188,0000.04%+7.6%
56Cyprus$3,162,0000.04%-30.4%
57Bosnia/Herzegovina$3,123,0000.04%-8.7%
58Indonesia$2,982,0000.04%-33.7%
59Azerbaijan$2,947,0000.04%-49.3%
60New Zealand$2,902,0000.04%-29.1%
61Turkey$2,865,0000.04%-27.9%
62Oman$2,676,0000.03%-59.1%
63El Salvador$2,639,0000.03%-49.5%
64Macao$2,587,0000.03%-49.6%
65Kyrgyzstan$2,184,0000.03%+24.4%
66South Africa$1,957,0000.03%-52.9%
67Uruguay$1,697,0000.02%-25.3%
68Brazil$1,683,0000.02%-67.9%
69British Virgin Islands$1,553,0000.02%+69.7%
70Georgia$1,514,0000.02%-40.1%
71Maldives$1,434,0000.02%+106.6%
72Egypt$1,304,0000.02%-22.5%
73India$1,248,0000.02%-68.7%
74Iceland$1,234,0000.02%0.56
75Paraguay$1,189,0000.02%-51.5%
76Montenegro$1,168,0000.01%-16.3%
77Israel$1,128,0000.01%+16.4%
78Jordan$1,127,0000.01%-22.7%
79Myanmar$1,118,0000.01%-24.8%
80Namibia$1,044,0000.01%-34.4%
81Brunei Darussalam$897,0000.01%-37%
82North Macedonia$853,0000.01%-31.9%
83Argentina$824,0000.01%-54.3%
84Sint Maarten (Dutch)$768,0000.01%-21%
85Philippines$754,0000.01%+49.6%
86Faroe Islands$722,0000.01%+55.9%
87Botswana$709,0000.01%-9.8%
88Ghana$688,0000.01%+278%
89Turkmenistan$645,0000.01%-49.7%
90Dominican Republic$624,0000.01%-75.2%
91Peru$611,0000.01%-72.9%
92Morocco$590,0000.01%-52.5%
93Bermuda$584,0000.01%-34.9%
94Malta$558,0000.01%-39.6%
95Nicaragua$529,0000.01%-61%
96Curaçao$523,0000.01%-18.8%
97Mauritius$521,0000.01%-75.6%
98Ecuador$516,0000.01%+65.9%
99Trinidad/Tobago$513,0000.01%-67.2%
100Lebanon$477,0000.01%-62.9%

Among the above 100 global markets, 22 countries increased their spending on imported flowers year over year. The 6 strongest percentage gains were posted by Ghana (up 278%), Maldives (up 106.6%), British Virgin Islands (up 69.7%), Ecuador (up 65.9%), Iceland (up 56%) and Faroe Islands (up 55.9%).

Leading the 78 decliners year over year was Belarus via a -92.2% drop.

Significant reductions in flowers imports by value were also experienced by Mauritius (down -75.6%), Dominican Republic (down -75.2%), Peru (down -72.9%), India (down -68.7%), Brazil (down -67.9%) and Trinidad Tobago (down -67.2%).

Richest Global Markets for Imported Flowers

Illustrated below is the market demand for flowers imported during 2020 by 30 of world’s richest countries in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per person, according to RichestCountryReports.com.

Countries are listed in descending order starting with the wealthiest economy in terms of GDP per capita.

  1. Luxembourg: $12.1 million (Down -5.6%)
  2. Singapore: $32 million (Down -17.4%)
  3. Ireland: $63 million (Up 13.2%)
  4. Qatar: $11.4 million (Down -35%)
  5. Macao: $2.6 million (Down -49.6%)
  6. Switzerland: $163.4 million (Down -4%)
  7. Norway: $78.5 million (Down -0.4%)
  8. United States: $1.5 billion (Down -4.3%)
  9. Brunei Darussalam: $897,000 million (Down -37%)
  10. Hong Kong: $15.5 million (Down -43.8%)
  11. Denmark: $129.6 million (Up 5.8%)
  12. Netherlands: $1.1 billion (Up 7.5%)
  13. United Arab Emirates: $36.6 million (Down -27.3%)
  14. Taiwan: $3.4 million (Down -14.4%)
  15. Iceland: $1.2 million (Up 56%)
  16. Austria: $99.9 million (Down -19.8%)
  17. Germany: $1.2 billion (Down -2.2%)
  18. Sweden: $88.4 million (Up 4.4%)
  19. Australia: $50.8 million (Down -0.4%)
  20. Belgium: $220.4 million (Down -7.9%)
  21. Finland: $45.4 million (Down -3.7%)
  22. Canada: $102.7 million (Down -18.7%)
  23. Bahrain: $3.4 million (Down -37.2%)
  24. France: $340.8 million (Down -10.9%)
  25. Saudi Arabia: $61.7 million (Down -9.6%)
  26. United Kingdom: $785.6 million (Down -7%)
  27. South Korea: $34.2 million (Down -7.3%)
  28. Malta: $558,000 million (Down -39.6%)
  29. Japan: $324.7 million (Down -9.9%)
  30. New Zealand: $2.9 million (Down -29.1%)

Five among the above richest economies spent more on imported flowers in 2020 compared to 2019. That handful of gainers were Iceland (up 56%), Ireland (up 13.2%), Netherlands (up 7.5%), Denmark (up 5.8%) and Sweden (up 4.4%).

Registering the severest double-digit annual declines were Macao (down -49.6%), Hong Kong (down -43.8%), Malta (down -39.6%), Bahrain (down -37.2%), Brunei Darussalam (down -37%), Qatar (down -35%) and New Zealand (down -29.1%).

Top Importers by Flower Type

The most popular type of imported fresh-cut flower in 2020 was roses far ahead of chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies and orchids.

Ranked below by sales in 2020 are the 7 major categories of fresh-cut flowers and flower buds used for bouquets or ornamental purposes.

  1. Roses: US$2.9 billion (37.1% of overall total for imported flowers)
  2. All other flowers: $2.7 billion (34.6%)
  3. Chrysanthemums: $769.4 million (9.9%)
  4. Dried, dyed, bleached, or other prepared flowers: $523.1 million (6.7%)
  5. Carnations: $520.5 million (6.7%)
  6. Lilies: $218.8 million (2.8%)
  7. Orchids: $163 million (2.1%)

The only category of flowers to realize a gain in international sales from 2019 to 2020 was dried, dyed, bleached or other prepared cut flowers via a 0.6% increase.

The United States of America is the world’s number 1 buyer of imported roses, chrysanthemums and carnations.

Global Demand for Roses

In 2020, the United States of America placed number 1 among the world’s biggest markets for imported roses as measured by total sales in US dollars.

The top 5 rose buyers (United States, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom, Russia) bought 66.1% of international purchases of fresh-cut roses suitable for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported roses in 2020.

  1. United States: US$680 million (23.5% of global total)
  2. Netherlands: $586.5 million (20.3%)
  3. Germany: $338.6 million (11.7%)
  4. United Kingdom: $174.2 million (6%)
  5. Russia: $133.6 million (4.6%)
  6. France: $125.9 million (4.4%)
  7. Belgium: $103.6 million (3.6%)
  8. Poland: $73.4 million (2.5%)
  9. Italy: $64.5 million (2.2%)
  10. Switzerland: $61.9 million (2.1%)
  11. Saudi Arabia: $60.4 million (2.1%)
  12. Canada: $45.6 million (1.6%)
  13. Norway: $44.5 million (1.5%)
  14. Spain: $35.6 million (1.2%)
  15. Austria: $31.8 million (1.1%)
  16. Czech Republic: $29.8 million (1%)
  17. Sweden: $29.7 million (1%)
  18. Kazakhstan: $20.7 million (0.7%)
  19. Australia: $20.7 million (0.7%)
  20. Finland: $17.6 million (0.6%)

The above major purchasers of roses bought 92.6% of the $2.9 billion worth of imported roses delivered during 2020.

Year over year, 3 among these top international markets spent more on imported roses namely the Netherlands (up 14.4%), Italy (up 6.7%) and Sweden (up 1.6%).

Global Demand for Chrysanthemums

In 2020, the United States placed first among the world’s biggest markets for imported chrysanthemums, as measured by total sales in US dollars.

The top 5 chrysanthemum buyers (United States, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, Russia) bought three-quarters (75.3%) of international purchases of chrysanthemums used for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported chrysanthemums in 2020.

  1. Germany: US$687 million (25.4% of global total)
  2. United States: $449.9 million (16.7%)
  3. United Kingdom: $267.5 million (9.9%)
  4. Netherlands: $219 million (8.1%)
  5. France: $130.4 million (4.8%)
  6. Switzerland: $88 million (3.3%)
  7. Belgium: $80.7 million (3%)
  8. Denmark: $69.3 million (2.6%)
  9. Russia: $69.2 million (2.6%)
  10. Italy: $63.7 million (2.4%)
  11. Austria: $54.2 million (2%)
  12. Sweden: $40.8 million (1.5%)
  13. Czech Republic: $39.1 million (1.4%)
  14. Canada: $30.2 million (1.1%)
  15. Japan: $29.7 million (1.1%)
  16. Poland: $27.9 million (1%)
  17. Norway: $25.2 million (0.9%)
  18. United Arab Emirates: $23.9 million (0.9%)
  19. China: $22.7 million (0.8%)
  20. Lithuania: $21.4 million (0.8%)

The above major purchasers of roses bought 92.8% of the $769.4 million worth of imported chrysanthemums delivered during 2020.

From 2019 to 2020, the fastest growers among these top international markets spent more on imported chrysanthemums. These were Netherlands (up 171.8%), Australia (up 21.9%), Sweden (up 19.7%), Switzerland (up 13.8%), Thailand (up 10.9%) and Ireland (up 7.3%).

Global Demand for Specially Prepared Flowers

In 2020, the Netherlands was the leading buyer among the world’s biggest markets for imported specially prepared flowers, as measured by total sales in US dollars.

The top 5 specially prepared flower buyers (Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Belgium) bought 62.2% of international purchases of dried, dyed, bleached or otherwise prepared flowers used for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported specially prepared flowers in 2020.

  1. Netherlands: US$155.2 million (29.7% of global total)
  2. United Kingdom: $51.4 million (9.8%)
  3. France: $50.6 million (9.7%)
  4. Denmark: $38.6 million (7.4%)
  5. Belgium: $29.7 million (5.7%)
  6. United States: $20 million (3.8%)
  7. Germany: $19.4 million (3.7%)
  8. Spain: $14.5 million (2.8%)
  9. Czech Republic: $12.9 million (2.5%)
  10. Ireland: $11.4 million (2.2%)
  11. Poland: $10.5 million (2%)
  12. Japan: $10.3 million (2%)
  13. Sweden: $7.9 million (1.5%)
  14. Singapore: $7.4 million (1.4%)
  15. Austria: $6.1 million (1.2%)
  16. Italy: $6.1 million (1.2%)
  17. Slovakia: $5.2 million (1%)
  18. Finland: $5 million (1%)
  19. Romania: $4.8 million (0.9%)
  20. Luxembourg: $4.2 million (0.8%)

The above major purchasers of specially prepared flowers bought 90.1% of the $523.1 million worth of imported specially prepared flowers delivered during 2020.

From 2019 to 2020, double-digit growers among the top international markets for imported specially prepared flowers were Ireland (up 89%), Denmark (up 55%), Germany (up 41.7%), Slovakia (up 29.2%), Finland (up 22.7%) and Belgium (up 14%).

Global Demand for Carnations

In 2020, the United States was the biggest customer among the world’s biggest markets for imported carnations, as measured by total sales in US dollars.

The top 5 carnation buyers (United States, Japan, Netherlands, Germany, United Kingdom) bought 72.6% of international purchases of carnations used for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported carnations in 2020.

  1. United States: US$109.8 million (21.1% of global total)
  2. Japan: $90.4 million (17.4%)
  3. Netherlands: $88.1 million (16.9%)
  4. Germany: $45.2 million (8.7%)
  5. United Kingdom: $44.2 million (8.5%)
  6. Poland: $27.1 million (5.2%)
  7. Russia: $14.8 million (2.8%)
  8. Spain: $11.5 million (2.2%)
  9. Canada: $11.5 million (2.2%)
  10. France: $8.4 million (1.6%)
  11. Finland: $6.7 million (1.3%)
  12. South Korea: $6.2 million (1.2%)
  13. Norway: $4.7 million (0.9%)
  14. Czech Republic: $4.3 million (0.8%)
  15. Australia: $4 million (0.8%)
  16. Thailand: $3.8 million (0.7%)
  17. Ireland: $3.7 million (0.7%)
  18. Switzerland: $3.6 million (0.7%)
  19. Sweden: $3.3 million (0.6%)
  20. Austria: $2.5 million (0.5%)

The above major purchasers of carnations bought 94.9% of the $520.5 million worth of imported carnations delivered during 2020.

From 2019 to 2020, double-digit increases among the top international markets for carnation imports belong to Australia (up 30%), Ireland (up 24.6%), Germany (up 20.3%), Norway (up 15.3%) and Finland (up 11.6%).

Global Demand for Lilies

In 2020, the United Kingdom was the biggest customer among the world’s biggest markets for imported lilies, as measured by total sales in US dollars.

The top 5 lily buyers (United Kingdom, United States, Germany, France, Ireland) bought 82.9% of international purchases of lilies used for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported lilies in 2020.

  1. United Kingdom: US$89.8 million (41.1% of global total)
  2. United States: $67.2 million (30.7%)
  3. Germany: $11.3 million (5.2%)
  4. France: $6.6 million (3%)
  5. Ireland: $6.4 million (2.9%)
  6. Thailand: $4.2 million (1.9%)
  7. Russia: $4 million (1.8%)
  8. Japan: $2.6 million (1.2%)
  9. Czech Republic: $2.3 million (1.1%)
  10. Switzerland: $2 million (0.9%)
  11. Spain: $1.8 million (0.8%)
  12. Canada: $1.6 million (0.7%)
  13. Sweden: $1.5 million (0.7%)
  14. Italy: $1.4 million (0.6%)
  15. Austria: $1.4 million (0.6%)
  16. Poland: $1 million (0.5%)
  17. Romania: $1 million (0.5%)
  18. Lithuania: $794,000 (0.4%)
  19. Belarus: $702,000 (0.3%)
  20. Vietnam: $653,000 (0.3%)

The above major purchasers of lilies bought 95.2% of the $218.8 million worth of imported lilies delivered during 2020.

From 2019 to 2020, there were 6 increases among the top international markets for lily imports. These annual gainers were: Vietnam (up 406.2%), Sweden (up 67.5%), Ireland (up 25.1%), Italy (up 16.2%), Poland (up 11%) and the United States (up 0.1%).

Global Demand for Orchids

In 2020, Japan was the biggest customer among the world’s biggest markets for imported orchids, as measured by total sales in US dollars.

The top 5 orchid buyers (Japan, China, Italy, Vietnam, Germany) bought 60.2% of international purchases of orchids used for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported orchids in 2020.

  1. Japan: US$55 million (33.8% of global total)
  2. China: $12.3 million (7.5%)
  3. Italy: $11.2 million (6.9%)
  4. Vietnam: $10.1 million (6.2%)
  5. Germany: $9.6 million (5.9%)
  6. United States: $8.6 million (5.3%)
  7. France: $7.1 million (4.4%)
  8. United Kingdom: $7 million (4.3%)
  9. Netherlands: $5.8 million (3.6%)
  10. Australia: $4.4 million (2.7%)
  11. Singapore: $3.4 million (2.1%)
  12. Russia: $2.7 million (1.7%)
  13. Spain: $1.9 million (1.2%)
  14. Romania: $1.9 million (1.2%)
  15. South Korea: $1.5 million (0.9%)
  16. Czech Republic: $1.4 million (0.9%)
  17. Taiwan: $1.4 million (0.9%)
  18. Switzerland: $1.3 million (0.8%)
  19. Portugal: $1.3 million (0.8%)
  20. Austria: $1.2 million (0.7%)

The above major purchasers of orchids bought 91.5% of the $163 million worth of imported orchids delivered during 2020.

From 2019 to 2020, there were just 3 growth international markets for orchid imports. Those 3 gainers over the most recent 2-year period were: Czech Republic (up 12%), Netherlands (up 1.3%) and Austria (up 0.3%).

Global Demand for Other Flowers

In 2020, Germany took top spot among the world’s biggest markets as measured by total sales in US dollars under the miscellaneous catchall category for imported flowers. The catchall category includes roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, lilies, orchids and specially prepared flowers.

The top 5 miscellaneous flower suppliers (Germany, United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, France) bought 64.9% of international purchases of miscellaneous flowers used for bouquets or other ornamental purposes.

The following 20 countries spent the most on imported miscellaneous flowers in 2020.

  1. Germany: US$687 million (25.4% of global total)
  2. United States: $449.9 million (16.7%)
  3. United Kingdom: $267.5 million (9.9%)
  4. Netherlands: $219 million (8.1%)
  5. France: $130.4 million (4.8%)
  6. Switzerland: $88 million (3.3%)
  7. Belgium: $80.7 million (3%)
  8. Denmark: $69.3 million (2.6%)
  9. Russia: $69.2 million (2.6%)
  10. Italy: $63.7 million (2.4%)
  11. Austria: $54.2 million (2%)
  12. Sweden: $40.8 million (1.5%)
  13. Czech Republic: $39.1 million (1.4%)
  14. Canada: $30.2 million (1.1%)
  15. Japan: $29.7 million (1.1%)
  16. Poland: $27.9 million (1%)
  17. Norway: $25.2 million (0.9%)
  18. United Arab Emirates: $23.9 million (0.9%)
  19. China: $22.7 million (0.8%)
  20. Lithuania: $21.4 million (0.8%)

The above major purchasers under the other flowers category bought 90.4% of the $2.7 billion worth of imported miscellaneous flowers delivered during 2020.

From 2019 to 2020, 4 among these top international markets spent more on imported miscellaneous flowers. These were Italy (up 10.2%), Sweden (up 5.9%), Norway (up 4%) and Czech Republic (also up 4%).

See also

More great research: World’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, US Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, China’s Top 100 Imported Consumer Products, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Wine, Best Global Consumer Markets for Selling Imported Coffee

References

Independent insights and analysis presented in this article are based on researched facts and statistics sourced from the following educational portals.

BoyceWire, Consumer Goods Definition.

FloraQueen, How Do Fresh Flowers Last in a Vase?

Forbes, The Forbes Global 2000 List.

Good Housekeeping, The Best Flower Delivery Services for Every Occasion (That You Can Order Online)

International Trade Centre, Trade Map.

Investopedia, Consumer Goods, Consumer Staples Definition, Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG).

Richest Country Reports, Top 50 Richest Countries by GDP per Capita.

United States Census Bureau, Foreign Trade State Data.

USITC DataWeb, US Merchandise Trade: Imports for Consumption.

Wikipedia, Flower bouquet.

World’s Top Exports, Flower Bouquet Exports by Country.

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