Creating Better Combos
The Kwik Kombos concept was created with a vision to develop a combination solution with a robust retail presence, as well as to provide both simplicity and success to the grower. These criteria are the driving force behind the program and the reason behind the tagline, “Success without the guesswork!”
With years of trialing for both propagation compatibility and a superb finished product, Syngenta Flowers has made it easier than ever to have sell-out combinations. As a research-driven organization, we have concentrated on providing ease in the greenhouse while keeping the goal of excitement at retail in mind.
Through extensive trialing, the Kwik Kombos program has a well-rounded offering of singlespecies and multi-species combinations suitable for programs grown throughout the season. Different growing regions with varying environmental conditions have also contributed to the development of our complete assortment. Ultimately, this led us to become one of the first companies to offer heat-loving combinations specifically selected for prolonged season
performance. We have learned that growers are looking for combinations that are beautiful, uniform and economical to produce while still bringing high-end value to their customers.
Each year we trial 50 to 100 new potential combinations across the nation. They are observed throughout the season, and key data points are collected. The evaluation formula is simple.
First, we assess their rooting compatibility. The simplicity of this program starts at the propagation level. The varying genetics need to root at a similar speed and make a cohesive finished liner.
Finished plant performance comes next. This is a two-part endeavor; the needs of both the grower and consumer must be considered. Ease of production, from start to finish, is a crucial objective in the greenhouse. The end-user must be satisfied with the beauty of the mix, ease of care and the longevity of performance throughout the season.
After greenhouse evaluation, we move the top recipes to the outdoor garden testing phase. This is where mature varieties are tested for their true garden performance. A winning combo must survive at least three months after it has transitioned to the outdoor trial, and maintain a balance of color and continuous blooming while receiving minimal care.
MEETING RETAIL EXPECTATIONS
The retail presence of Kwik Kombos is larger than ever. With an array of point-of-purchase (POP) material now available through Multi Packaging Solutions, sell-through at the retailer is strong. To leave an unforgettable impression, POP material such as posters, bench cards, locking hang tags and cart banners can influence consumers’ buying decisions. Night in Pompeii Mix, Fire and Ice Mix and Spring Breeze Mix are three of the top-selling selections in the Kwik Kombos program. With over 80 combinations in the assortment, there are colorful options for any occasion and season for sales throughout the year.
SIMPLIFIED COMBO SELECTION
To simplify the selection process when building a program, we have produced a Kwik Kombos guide that can be found in our 2019-2020 Annuals catalog on our website. A collaborative effort between marketing and technical support has led to a user-friendly guide to combination program development. Each combo has a season designation, vigor and earliness ratings, corresponding to their recommended container sizes. In addition to technical and cultural data, close-up and overall habit photographs allow the growers to choose what’s right for their program easily.
For 2019, we have released 49 new varieties and 21 improvements. There are five new, single-species choices from our Cabrio calibrachoa and Dekko petunia series for growers who desire simple, yet stunning combos. While these series have proven season-long performance, they are also ideal for early-season production. Beach Bum Mix, Rainy Days Mix and Walk of Stars Mix are a few of our multi-species new introductions, made from some of our earliest flowering varieties.
For mid-season single-species combos, we recommend selecting any four of the Callie calibrachoa monoculture mixes that have exceptional performance in 1½-gallon containers. Fresh releases this year are some eye-catching multi-species options; Royal Duchess Mix, Hot Tamale Mix, and Salsa Mix combinations are perfect options for adding vibrancy to retail displays in the main season.
The Kwik Kombos assortment has a fantastic selection of late-season combinations. We have included our best-in-class Bandana lantana in many single-species combinations that have been a hit with consumers. Our heat-loving mixes are an excellent choice for warm climates and provide bold color and appeal for an enviable garden. Four out of the seven Bandana recipes have been improved this year and will perform better than ever in the hot days of summer. These are Bandana Lava Flow Mix, Strawberry Daiquiri Mix, Tequila Sunrise Mix and Tropical Fruit Mix. Two improved multi-species late-season combos added in this category are Rockets’ Red Glare Mix and Summer Fun Mix.