LUXE Life & Style

Interflora blooms in India

India has long had a tradition of using flowers in day-to-day life — think garlands, flower petals strewn around places of worship, and even marigolds floating in a bowl. But the concept of flower arrangements is newer, and inspired by the West. Entering this relatively nascent luxury market is the global brand Interflora, bringing with them over 100 floral arrangements and top-quality blooms.

Having launched in Mumbai this month, the brand hopes to spread to other cities in the coming months, says Tarun Joshi, President & CEO, Interflora India. Unlike in foreign countries, where high-quality flowers are available at local grocers or florists, in India, the brand has had to go right to the growers, and set up an infrastructure of cold chain storage. “It is quite exciting because India is such an underdeveloped market for the way flowers are consumed, but there is a strong inclination towards them,” adds Joshi.

Since about 90% of the best quality flowers in the country are exported, Interflora reached out to growers to ensure their stringent technical parameters — about how long each stem must be, the circumference of the bud, and exactlyhow much it has bloomed — were met. Cold vans were set up to transport the buds to storage, without letting them suffer from shock from sudden changes in temperature.

The result is floral arrangements that keep the local market in mind, while bringing in that luxury feel, says Neil Whittaker, Interflora’s head florist in India. “While you can go to your local markets and find arrangements, our focus is to show something that is very unique and showcases the quality of the blooms,” explains Whittaker. “We want to teach the Indian consumer that if they buy Interflora products, they are guaranteed to last for seven days, and if they follow instructions — like use the specialised flower food and trim the flowers every third day — they could increase the vase life from seven to 14 days.”

The originally Manchester-based Whittaker, considered UK’s top florist, says he loves the tropical abundance of Indian flowers, especially the heliconias. He recalls asking for marigolds for an arrangement on his first trip here, only to be informed that the heads are cut off here and the blossoms used in garlands.

Prices start from ₹1,500 at interflora.in

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 12:28:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/interflora-blooms-in-india/article19931993.ece

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