Earlier this month, The Home Depot presented its 2006 Product Innovation Award to Floragem for the introduction and marketing of its VIVA! SunPatiens impatiens line. Floragem received the award at a presentation in Atlanta, Ga., and beat out consumer manufacturers like John Deere, Glidden Paint and The Scotts Co.
VIVA! SunPatiens, which are bred by Sakata Seed America and grown by Ecke Ranch, were introduced exclusively in more than 1,700 Home Depot stores during spring and summer 2006. The flowers have been bred to thrive in full sun and high heat, a challenge for many impatiens. The VIVA! program is a full line of flowers, herbs and vegetables grown by the VIVA! grower network and sold exclusively to The Home Depot.
Four colors in the VIVA! SunPatiens line were introduced this year in Home Depot stores — Orange, White, Purple and Red. Two new colors, Vigorous Lavender and Spreading Salmon Variegated, are expected to debut next year.
“We work hard for chances like this — to bring truly unique and new genetics to a major retailer in a proper and appropriate consumer package,” remarked Ray French, program manager at Floragem. “The Home Depot is very committed to innovative new products and product ideas. Floragem has the role of helping connect a good idea from a breeder and help turn it into something very special at retail.”
“The Home Depot is working with Floragem to make the VIVA! program the epicenter of new plant ideas in the U.S. and Canadian markets,” said Lisa Heredia, Floragem’s program manager. “We applaud the team at The Home Depot for connecting great new plants with consumers. While some may fret that ‘gardening is dead,’ we see the live goods group driving innovation with genetics, packaging and signage.”
Floragem, a marketing company comprised of a group of wholesale growers based in Vista, Calif., was started by Altman Plants to market its new products. The Floragem partnership saw a need for a coordinated effort of growers using well-developed plant programs and marketing tools to supply consistent product to the major retailers across the country.