Public Release: 

Who buys fresh flowers as gifts?

Perceived gift value, relationships are main drivers in consumers' floral gift purchases

American Society for Horticultural Science

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Researchers from the Department of Bio-Industry Communication and Development at National Taiwan University have new insights into who buys fresh flowers as gifts, and why consumers purchase floral gifts. Their study in HortScience reveals some interesting factors that they say can inform retail floral marketing. Fresh flower purchases, say the researchers, are based on a set of "gift values", and depend on the relationship between the giver and receiver.

The study notes that gift giving is one of the primary forces driving the growth of the global floral industry: in the U.S., 67% of fresh flowers purchased are for gifts, while in countries such as Japan about 80% of cut flowers are purchased for gifts or commercial purposes. "Although some important knowledge on consumer floral gift giving has been explored, the basic question of why flowers are picked out from numerous gift alternatives remains unanswered," the authors wrote.

Li-Chun Huang and Yen-Chun Lin designed and administered a questionnaire to study givers' knowledge of receivers' preferences, needs, and difficulty to please, as well as the effect of givers' perceived "gift value" of flowers on the probability of buying floral gifts. The researchers also evaluated the effect of givers' financial capability on their decision to buy flowers. Each objective was examined across different relationships between the givers and recipients, including parents, romantic partners, and others.

"Analysis of the survey responses revealed that the perceived gift values of flowers, i.e., the economic value, functional value, social value, and expressive value, were the most important factors for the consumer decision of whether to buy fresh flowers as gifts," the authors said. Relationships between givers and receivers also influenced floral gift decisions. For example, economic value was the main factor when the receivers were parents, whereas social value and expressive value were more important when the receivers were romantic partners.

"Different from many previous studies, this study revealed that financial capability did not influence the likelihood of givers deciding to purchase fresh flowers for gifts," the authors noted.

The researchers said the study shows that the gift values of the fresh flowers need to be emphasized to consumers when marketing or promoting floral gifts.


The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site:

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at

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