The Unwins Sweet Pea and Emma Bridgewater vase promotion has truly taken off, with over 8,000 claimants hitting the Unwins website in for the first 30 mins alone.
Garden centres stocking the promotion reported shoppers arriving at 9am on March 1 (the day the promotion started) to purchase seeds to allow them to claim a limited edition Emma Bridgewater sweet pea vase. The Emma Bridgewater vases were made bespoke for Unwins to celebrate its new Sweet Pea seed range and so are real collector items.
Due to the unprecedented demand, Westland is looking to extend the campaign and is calling for garden centres to make sure their Unwins Sweet Pea displays are at the front of stores to get maximum exposure over the coming weeks.
Andrew West, Head of Purchasing at Hillier Garden Centre Group, said: “In the first week of the promotion from March 1-7 we saw a 25% uplift in Unwins Sweet Pea unit sales over the previous week, which we can only attribute to the successful advertising of the promotion. One centre had a customer buy 50 packets in one go!”
On social media, shoppers were whipped into a frenzy. One fan said: “Got hubby to go into the garden centre only for him to be told by staff that shelves have been cleared by one woman who spent hundreds of pounds shortly after the store opened!” Another said: “Sweet Peas are my favourite! Will be planting seeds in our new garden when we move house and the bottle will live on my dresser!”
Amy Roberts, Brand Manager for Unwins, said: “The speed and impact of this promotion has been outstanding and clearly shows the effect and impact social media has in driving consumer uptake. Its purpose was to bring Unwins Seeds to a new consumer base and to push our Sweet Pea heritage into the minds of consumers. I think it’s fair to say that we’ve certainly done this.
“In fact, it’s been so successful that we are now looking into ways to extend it over the coming weeks, so there is still time for your centre to take part in the promotion. If you would like to engage in the promotion please contact your Westland Territory Manager.”
The Sensational Sweet Peas range was inspired by the prevalent period drama trend – made popular by the BBC drama Downton Abbey – an era which invoked grandeur, with elegant and romantic show-stopping colour. The collection includes old favourites and brand new varieties, including:
Sweet Pea Little Red Riding Hood – Enchanting blooms of light and deep red, this Sweet Pea has a beautiful heady fragrance and looks great in a cut flower display. Great in a vase!
Sweet Pea Maloy – Delicately-scented light and deep salmon pink. A lovely partner to dark and rich coloured varieties.
Sweet Pea Erewhon – Two-tone mauve-purple variety producing delicately-scented flowers from May to August. Excellent cut flower variety.
UNWINS – With over 100 years of experience, Unwins is famed for its Sweet Pea breeding. William Unwins sold his first Sweet Pea seeds in 1903, which he sold to flower markets in London. He was soon hybridising Sweet Peas and offered large flowered forms in a wide range of colours. By 1914 he had been joined in the business by his son Charles, who went on to become one of the leading Sweet Pea breeders of the 20th Century.

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