From trend to product and ultimately a collection

From trend to product and ultimately a collection

Right now, we are in the middle of the amaryllis season. This is a busy period full of challenges. Before the start of the season, our purchasing team plays a major role. They oversee buying flower bulbs and perennials based on previous years and forecasts. Johan Bergman has been with Kébol since 2001 and talks about how he works towards the various flower bulb and perennial seasons every year.

What ‘purchasing’ does at Kébol

As a purchaser you do so much more than ‘just purchasing’ to create new collection. This role also includes maintaining administration, doing inspections with government inspectors, and transferring batches to production. In addition, keeping in contact with various growers and actively searching for new cultivars, mixtures or other products is also part of the job. Johan: “An average workday starts with me reading and organizing my email inbox. After that I log into the system to see if there are still shortages and I ask my network (of growers and purchasing/sales offices). Currently, we are in the middle of the spring flowering and amaryllis bulb season, which means that the production orders must go into the process for this to run smoothly.” In addition, Johan is already preparing for new season: the perennials and summerflowering flower bulbs.

Important during purchasing

In purchasing, part of it is controlled by ‘fixed orders’, but a large part is also based on last year’s estimate. Purchasing is a year ahead, says Johan. “For example, the vast majority has already been purchased for spring of 2024 and next month we will start purchasing for autumn 2024. It is important to purchase to scarce species on time. When purchasing, it’s a must to maintain good contact with my network of growers.”

Johan keeps in contact with growers by visiting the nurseries. This way he has a chance to talk to the grower and immediately to see the bulbs are doing. Johan: “In the spring and at the end of the summer/early autumn I often visit growers of flower bulbs and perennials. In addition, there are also several testing grounds that I regularly visit.”

Flower bulb trends

‘How do you know exactly what you are going to buy?’ is a question a purchaser gets often. It’s a great responsibility, says Johan. “In addition to looking at the past year and what has been purchased, we also visit show gardens and look at image banks. By doing this, we get a good impression of the trends. I work together with our marketing department on this as well. They follow the latest trends in consumer magazines, receive information from Ibulb and visit trade fairs. Together we create an overview of the trends. From types of colours.”

Keeping an eye on sustainability

Sustainability plays a major role within Kébol. For example, we are affiliated with the Sustainable Suppliers platform. To be part of this platform, we must adhere to the firm agreement that we purchase from 100% certified growers. Johan: “This also determines our choice of where to purchase.”

Current flower bulb season

We are currently in the spring flowering and amaryllis bulb season, says Johan. “The current season is a bit of challenge. The harvest of the spring flowering flower bulbs is disappointing, because of a shortage and therefore a few varieties are not for sale. This is mainly due to weather conditions in spring at the beginning of this year. For wet periods and hailstorms to a long dry and lean period. It is precisely at that moment that the bulbs should be growing. We don’t see this as a setback, but as a challenge. We are doing our utmost to provide our customers with their placed order.”

Fun fact: Based on trend watching, ‘Lilium Must see’ has been incorporated into the Flower bulbs & Perennials Spring 2024 collection. Curious? View the catalog or order via your My Kébol account.

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