Quantil says vegetable plant sales have reached a peak

One of the UK's biggest suppliers of young vegetable plants to garden retailers has said the market has now peaked and is mature.

Quantil director Alastair Hill said: "I don't think the market will drop off dramatically but growth is going to come from people reaching their full potential - some people are not ordering what they could sell.

"I'd be surprised if there was another year of growth. The market is going to stay where it is for a while. We've had three or four years of huge upward trend and it has got to peak at some point. I don't see where market growth is going to come from now, though I'd welcomely admit it if I'm wrong. We've had huge secondary support from the media."

Of Quantil's 100-plus varieties supplied to the Garden Centre Group, Dobbies, 300-400 independents and one of the big sheds, runner beans are top sellers. Hill said new and unusual varieties will only have a tiny part of the market.

He added: "A lot of new people who have come in are going to have had failures but in 2010 we grew by 30-40 per cent but some through expanding customer base." In February, Hill predicted 20 per cent growth. Quantil grew 1.5 million strips in 2009, with 80 per cent to independent garden centres.

Ball Colegrave won the most innovative display award for its vegetable exhibit incorporating Vertigrow units. Marketing manager Stuart Lowen said Ball Colegrave had seen 30 per cent growth in 2010 in vegetable seeds and plugs and expected growth to continue.

"Interest in veg is continuing to expand and our new veg catalogue has doubled in size for 2011. We're still in the growth part of the curve because there is so much media coverage. It is going to continue though perhaps not at the level of the past few years but it's not at a point where it is going to plateau."

Lowen said patio vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes were doing best alongside strawberries.

Garden centre consultant Eve Tigwell said: "There is still growth left because a big chunk of the industry has not noticed it has happened. " She said "a lot of centres don't do as much as they could".

She added that most stop in June but could be selling grow-your-own container potatoes for Christmas as well as other vegetables. "Garden centres should extend the grow your own season - not all year round but pretty close." Seed companies had veg seed rises of five to 10 per cent in 2010 and expect similar gains in 2011.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next



These tidy evergreen trees are not just for Christmas and come in a range of shapes and sizes, writes Miranda Kimberley.

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Pest & Disease Factsheet - Green manure crops

Valuable tools to combat pests and diseases, improve soils and boost nutrient levels.

Pots and containers

Pots and containers

Superior propagation products can justify extra expenditure by providing precise cell fill, optimum root development and healthy plugs, writes Sally Drury.

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

From The Editor - Production and retail showcase

With the first entry deadlines for two of the industry's leading awards schemes looming, this is the perfect time to start thinking about which categories can best support your goals this year - and get cracking on those entries.

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

Seabrook on...Product showcase and valuable networking at Four Oaks

The Four Oaks Trade Show is a must on my calendar.

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

According To Edwards ... Changes large and small anticipated for UK producers

No one knows the changes that Brexit will impose on the UK over time. Some will surely be massive and they are already being guessed at. But there will be little changes too and some of those will ripple out over time to surprisingly large effect. I don't pretend to know what will happen, but it's fun to speculate.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.