The only trend forecast you’ll need for 2017


Following in-depth research, we take a look at the four trends officially forecasted for the flower industry for 2017, translated into workable ideas for florists.

Whether we know it or not, trends seep into the average consumer's everyday life because they're based on psychological research and very real situations. There's a whole sector devoted to serious analysis and in-depth exploration of upcoming trends, all predicting a state of mind based on society's current climate.

As a retailer, marketing with trends is a scientifically proven way to tap into the mind of your customer. It's no modern phenomenon as in a bid to make more sales, businesses have spent decades attempting to capture the zeitgeist; a term dating back to the 19th Century, officially meaning:

(Noun) "The defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time."

Which is why it's important for the flower and plant sector to club together to make sure we're clued up on the latest trends to suit our customers.

flower-council-logoThankfully the Flower Council, leaders in promoting flowers and plants at consumer level, have again teamed up with Tuinbranche Nederland, VHG Sector Association and iBulb to create a unified front for floriculture, in order to fund a major trend forecast by Aafje Nijman.

Chanel de Kock of the Flower Council's UK arm says, "The aim is to increase the visibility of 'greenery' amongst consumers, and to provide the sector with opportunities to take advantage of these trends. A narrative for the press based on these shared trends strengthens the story we have to tell."

Here's what Aafje Nijman, the official trend-watchers have to say...


2017 ZEITGEIST – an overview of the year to come

What can we expect in 2017? The ever faster development of technology, the climate change and the current political situation makes us realise that we need to adjust our frames of reference. As a result, we are starting to innovate and 'radically reframe' existing solutions. In the world of flowers and plants, the social trend towards a radical reframing is being expressed in the four style trends. Download the cards, or read on to find out more.

This era is shaking us out of our stupor and our society is rapidly undergoing dramatic change. We are gradually realising that we need to adjust our ideas in order to adapt our own perceptions. We feel that we're torn between our old ideas and the new way of thinking that the world demands.

The intense era in which we are adjusting our ideas is expressed in three trends for the horticulture sector: the quest for truth, the search for equilibrium and the new rules of the game.

In order to get a clear understanding of the changes in style, we have examined the anticipated changes in customers' needs. We call this the zeitgeist. These have then been translated into four style trends: Equalise, Harmonise, Energise and Rebel.



The world is becoming ever less transparent. As a result, we are coming to view nature as our new religion. Misleading experiences mean that the need for truth and trust is greater than ever. As a result, fact checking has become a popular pastime – we want to have certainty about the world. Sensory perception therefore becomes incredibly important. This is expressed in personal rituals that see us recharging from nature. Places where we can retreat and feel nature around us are important. We surround ourselves with flowers and plants which fulfil a symbolic role.

Think of open spaces where we don't close ourselves off from the effects of the weather. Plants that stimulate the senses with their fragrance and colour reinforce this mood. Indoors we are seeing a different approach to craft projects, often based on natural products such as petals or herbs.



Themes for the flower shop

Natural, round shapes allow us to find peace. Natural patterns and designs derived from flowers and plants typify this trend. Green is at the heart of the colour palette, alongside calm colours such as pale yellow and pink and lilac accents.

Shapes: Organic, symbolic, stimulating and calming.

Materials: Organic, symbolic, stimulating and calming.

Patterns: Natural (spot) patterns with the influences of religious symbolism here and there.

Flowers and plants: Fresh and delicate, with a rustic look and a clear symbolic value.







The time is ripe for greater unity. That's why we want to create an integrated and emancipated reality. We see all products as equally important, both indoors and outdoors. Soft feminine materials are given a rugged look, and harder masculine materials are made elegant with colour or delicate surface structures. Indoors we see balanced rooms with a friendly feel. Greenery is essential in order to create a good balance between living and inanimate materials.

The imbalance in the world makes it clear that standards need to be adjusted in order to restore equilibrium. Amidst all the violence we have lost sight of the human scale which provides understanding and connection. As a counter-reaction, we close ourselves off from the bigger picture and focus on something small and tangible. In and around the home, small flowers and plants are placed on a pedestal and are given equal status with all other products. In the garden this is expressed in an alternation of living greenery and dead materials.



Themes for the flower shop

The combination of various unusual materials and a mixture of romantic and bright colours create a new harmony. Both feminine floral patterns and masculine minimalist patterns with small checks and stripes are important.

Shapes: Curved and sleek: a mix of masculine and feminine.

Materials: Varied and sometimes in unusual combinations. We're on a quest for a new harmony.

Patterns: Both feminine decorative and masculine minimalist.

Flowers and plants: Both robust and rugged, and delicate and decorative. Plants are used where you wouldn't expect them.







We need to be fit in order to enter the new era with vigour. By combining strong foliage with sturdy ¬ flower shapes in the garden and on the balcony, we create the outdoor space which is relaxed but simultaneously active. Everything projects a winner's mentality, as if we're in an Olympic training camp where exercise alternates with relaxation treatments. We also see an energetic and fresh look indoors. Flowers and plants are our personal oxygen factories and air purifiers. Flowers are used to emphasise and celebrate our achievements.

We are preparing ourselves for a fresh move forward following the economic crisis. The energy is tangible. Being fit and radiating energy is the new creed. Personal data becomes a new means of payment, and that creates a new zest for life - we want to be seen as energetic and innovative. As a result, plants and flowers are increasingly seen as the ultimate source of oxygen, and thus the source of energy and vitality. Everything projects a winners' mentality with which we show that we can take on the world and enter the new era fit and active. We create a simultaneously relaxed and active space by combining fresh, powerful and functional together.



Themes for the flower shop

This is reflected in powerful, stark flower and leaf shapes in eye-catching colours. The focus is on energetic colours combined with a paler or faded tone. The stark, geometric materials and patterns feature sports references such as stripes, dots and honeycomb structures.

Shapes: Look powerful and energetic. We often make reference to sports attributes, or the pieces contain playful elements.

Materials: Functional and energetic, sometimes with the look of a luxury spa (e.g. marble).

Patterns: Packed with sport references such as stripes, dots, perforations and honeycomb structures. Optical 3D effects sometimes play a role.

Flowers and plants: Strong sleek shapes in fresh green or other eye-catching colours. Bouquet shapes sometimes feature sports references (e.g. wreathes and rosettes).








Tensions are rising and we are confronted with a great deal of misery. We therefore need a release valve, a chance to forget the rules for a while. In order to survive, it's imperative that we put things in perspective and take a light-hearted view of serious matters. There's a need to soften the existing situation. In response to this, an atmosphere is created in which there appear to be no rules, but instead colour, cheerfulness and silliness.

Flowers and plants occupy a totally uninhibited place. This creates a space which allows a humorous perspective on products and life. Nothing is right or wrong - it's up to you and your creativity.



Colours & textures for the flower shop

Flowers and plants are ideal for meeting this need by using unexpected colour combinations and shapes. Convention is thrown to the wind and we get the chance to adopt a contemporary, unique angle. Anything's possible - everything's allowed!

Shapes: Unexpected combinations of sleek, funny, romantic and natural shapes.

Materials: Anything is possible, everything is allowed. Coarse natural materials are not always the obvious option, arti¬ficial materials often are.

Patterns: Abstract, figurative and exotic. Tapestry, tufting, collage and patchwork are important.

Flowers and plants: Flowering plants and flowers with eye-catching shapes and colours are preferable. We also mix various mini-plant species together, such as mini-cacti with mini-cyclamen.




All images: Flower Council of Holland. Article created in collaboration with Flower Council of Holland