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   Want More Flowers? Drop A Hint.
by The California Cut Flower Commission
Posted: Friday, November 13, 2009 at 9:06AM EST

SACRAMENTO, CA /PRNewswire/ — Sets of whimsical business card-size reminders dubbed "Hint Cards" will begin sprouting up in select California-grown flower bouquets in Safeway, Vons and Pavilions stores throughout California and Nevada beginning this week and online at FlowerHintCards.com.  

Their message? "Just because" is reason enough. According to a recent statewide survey of 600 adult women conducted on behalf of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), nearly six in ten (57 percent) would most like to receive flowers for no other reason than "just because." But while any occasion will do, not just any flower will. In a separate nationwide survey, more than half of adults (55 percent) surveyed said that they would prefer to buy California-grown flowers if given the choice.  

Those twin insights planted a seed that the CCFC grew into Hint Cards, a simple innovation designed to make it easier for flower lovers to not only drop a hint that they would like more flowers in their life, but to specifically ask for California-grown flowers. After nearly a year of development, the first crop of pocket-sized purchase prompters is ready to go. Including them in grocery store bouquets is a convenient way to put the free Hint Cards into the hands of flower lovers and flower purchasers, but the ultimate goal of the cards is to encourage a future purchase that might not normally happen. The CCFC wants consumers to get what they want: more California-grown flowers more often, and it wants the flower-growing and flower-selling industry to get what it wants: more everyday sales.  

With sayings that range from bold to sincere to down-right flirtatious, Hint Cards were developed to fit various situations and attitudes. The CCFC originally developed more than a dozen Hint Cards and beta tested six of them with a variety of consumers, flower growers, florists and more than 70 bloggers over a six month period, who ultimately shaped the final development of the five cards debuting this week. Among the crowd favorites are the sincere "Not because you have to. Not because you’re sorry. Just because." and the not-so-subtle "Pssst … My favorite flower is in season."  

"‘You don’t bring me flowers anymore’ is a cliché because it’s so true, and we think Hint Cards are the solution to that age-old complaint," said Kasey Cronquist, Executive Director and Ambassador, California Cut Flower Commission. "A Hint Card not only turns a wish into a whimsical way to let people know you’d like flowers; it specifically requests America’s freshest flowers. California-grown flowers meet the strictest growing standards in the world and were probably still in the field just 24 or 48 hours before you bought them."  

Each set includes a strip of five Hint Cards that perforate off for easy use, along with information about what makes California-grown flowers so special. The CCFC wanted to be sure to provide flower lovers with a range of options to suit varying personalities, moods and lifestyles. As creative as the cards themselves are, the women who were asked to test Hint Cards were even more creative. They tucked Hint Cards in glove boxes, slipped them into suitcases and wallets, slid them under windshield wipers, placed them gently atop pillowcases, and even taped them to credit cards to make sure their significant others "got the hint."  

But while Hint Cards and whatever stealth locations users put them into may be whimsical, they mean serious business. California flower growers contribute to an industry that generates $10.3 billion in economic impact to the state of California.  

Hint Cards are available online at www.FlowerHintCards.com, where people can email virtual Hint Cards, download versions to print out, or buy sets of the same Hint Cards now appearing in stores. The site also invites would-be Hint Card writers to leave suggestions for more hints. Over time, the CCFC may use some of the suggestions, crediting the contributors, in future versions of the Hint Cards.  

"We intend for Hint Cards to be around for a long time," said Cronquist. "Our vision is to develop more cards in a wide range of creative interpretations, available more places. It’s all about helping people get what they want, which is more California flowers," he said. "The way we see it, those ought to be the best you can get, and that’s California-grown flowers."  

About the California Cut Flower Commission  

The California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC) is a state commission created by the state legislature in 1990 with the mission to promote California cut flowers and foliages by providing industry leadership in public policies, research and education programs and trade positions. The CCFC is overseen by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and is funded by grower assessments. The Commission represents the state’s 250 growers from San Diego County to the Oregon border. For more information about California cut flowers, visit www.ccfc.org, and to learn more about the benefits of buying locally grown agricultural products – including flowers – visit www.californiagrown.org.  

Source: The California Cut Flower Commission  

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