Canary Wings Begonia
Breeder: Groovy Plants Ranch, LLC
Location: Marengo, Ohio, U.S.A
About The Breeder: “The Ranch,” as it is affectionately called, is a plant-lover haven. Beautiful plantings and quirky decorations fill the 2-acre property. “We want our customers to feel welcome and inspired when they visit,” says owner Jared Hughes. He started Groovy Ranch Plants when he was 19 with nothing more than a few cuttings of succulents. Today, the one-man-business annually produces 25,000 succulents, 2,500 cold hardy cacti and 10,000 perennials.
What were the market challenges? Having any new, unique product without network knowledge presents a challenge. Locating someone to give you the time of day and overcome the trust factor can be very difficult. Jared heard from the industry about the integrity of Ball Seed and his regional sales representative introduced him to Ball Ingenuity. After the initial conversations, a road map was created – an expectation of what will come in return. From concept to introduction, to selling the idea to customers. It seems straight forward, but it is difficult to convey the message effectively.
Why did Groovy Plants Ranch choose to partner with Ball Ingenuity? Others would not listen. Ball Ingenuity gave Jared the time, did the leg work, and took his company seriously. Ball Ingenuity put the plant into the position it deserved. Integrity was the biggest part: The trust factor. Seeing the steadfast direction in a private family-owned business for 100+ years with a great reputation in dealing with partners and genuine collaboration with him and his plant.
What was the solution Ball Ingenuity provided and how it was implemented? Through Ball Ingenuity’s introduction of Canary Wings Begonia into summer industry trials, the plant’s popularity was realized. It led to many industry performance awards in 2018, including the Classic City Award at the Trial Gardens of the University of Georgia, 2nd Place winner in the hanging basket category at North Carolina State University, and it earned a very good rating by the Les Exceptionelles® Trials in Canada.
What were the results achieved? With the help of Ball Ingenuity, Jared brought the plant to market and created an impact in a meaningful way. It brought financial and professional benefits to him, his business, and his family. Canary Wings Begonia earned additional awards and recognition, including Retailer’s Choice Award at Cultivate’18; a finalist in the Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence Editor’s Choice Award in 2018; and finalist in the Greenhouse Grower Medal of Excellence Best Performing Variety 2019. Over 200,000 cuttings were sold in its first commercial release with an expanding supply chain planned for in 2020.
Intenz and Twisted Celosia
Location: The Netherlands
About The Breeder: Floritec strives to develop and market customized varieties that are quick and easy to grow, but also require less energy and chemicals. This sustainably-minded organization focuses on the environment, but also improved returns for its grower customers. Floritec anticipates consumer trends and market developments and is active worldwide in approximately 30 countries.
What were the market challenges? Floritec faced issues with supply chain setup as well as product culture issues. It was a struggle to find the correct growing recommendations based on the difference in growing habits between The Netherlands and North America.
Why did Floritec choose to partner with Ball Ingenuity? Ball Seed had a great existing relationship with Floritec through the Ball Mums program. This built up their faith and confidence in the Ball Ingenuity product management team. Ball Ingenuity proved it would strive for excellence with both products.
What was the solution Ball Ingenuity provided and how it was implemented? Both the supply chain and plant culture issues were fixed. The Ball Ingenuity team made visits to The Netherlands, and product manager Kelsey Fletcher conducted bi-weekly calls with the overseas team to solidify details. She is in constant contact on issues she sees coming from the production farm. Ball ingenuity offers the attention to detail to both the supplier and the customer in order to provide great products and happy relationships.
What were the results achieved? Finding the difference in growing habits between The Netherlands and North America was resolved by Kelsey building a strong relationship with their culture guild, as well as communicating and running side-by-side trials to reach a positive outcome. Once the Ball Ingenuity team and Kelsey took over working on the Floritec celosia, the program saw an increase of over 40% in sales.
Breeder: D.H.M. Innovation (Lannes Group) - France
About The Breeder: Created in 1964, D.H.M.I. is the European market leader in Dipladenia, which is its core business. The company has over 140,000 m2 production capacity, and its team develops outstanding varieties and innovative marketing strategies to meet the needs of the everchanging Mandevilla/Dipladenia market.
What were the market challenges? D.H.M.I. did not have a visible market presence in North American. They wanted to introduce new series of Mandevilla/Dipladenia varieties to fill any gaps in distribution.
Why did D.H.M.I. choose to partner with Ball Ingenuity? It was important for D.H.M.I. to partner with an American-based company that was familiar with the current market, as well as with its customers and general consumers. Ball Ingenuity gave D.H.M.I. access to the best distribution organization in North America – Ball Seed. In addition, the immediate interest Ball Ingenuity showed to the product was a big PLUS for the company when they introduced their work to the product management team.
What was the solution Ball Ingenuity provided and how it was implemented? Ball Ingenuity offered a complete solution through a state-of-the-art Product Development Protocol: product testing, selection of the best varieties suitable for production and commercialization in North America, sales team training, communication and marketing, as well as supply chain options.
What were the results achieved? After five years of close collaboration between D.H.M.I. and Ball Ingenuity, the performance is outstanding: 13 varieties introduced and around 1 million cuttings produced per year (in and off ‘shore’).