- Title: JAPAN: Blue roses blossom big time in Japan
- Date: 20th November 2009
- Summary: MAKUHARI JAPAN (RECENT - NOVEMBER 11, 2009) (REUTERS) INTERNATIONAL FLOWER EXPO "CLASSIC JAPAN" FLOWER SHOP BOOTH PASSER-BYS LOOKING AT 'BLUE' ROSES (ACTUALLY PINK WITH A SLIGHT BLUE TINGE) ON DISPLAY MAN SNIFFING BLUE FLOWERS SIGN THAT READS "BLUE ROSE APPLAUSE" BLUE ROSES VISITORS LOOKING AT BLUE ROSES (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) KAZUKO SAKAMOTO, 49-YEAR-OLD WORKING IN FLOWER BUSINESS, SAYING: "It's not something I'd rush out to buy immediately, but I think it's nice to give to someone special or for a special day." VISITOR SMELLING BLUE ROSES RED AND PINK ROSES ON DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) TAKAKO NAKATA, 38-YEAR FLOWER IMPORTER, SAYING: "I feel like it's got a scent that you can't find in other flowers. I came away with a really good impression." NAKATA SMELLING ROSES BLUE ROSE ON DISPLAY (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) YASUNORI YOMO, EXECUTIVE GENERAL MANAGER FOR SUNTORY FLOWERS, SAYING: "Roses don't naturally have a blue pigment to them. So we used genetic engineering to take the blue pigment of a pansy and put that into a rose to make these blue roses." BLUE ROSES ON DISPLAY BESIDE SIGN (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) YASUNORI YOMO SAYING: "We've already received a large number of orders for these roses, and some customers are even being forced to wait to buy them." BLUE ROSES ON DISPLAY WITH PEOPLE LOOKING AT THEM
- Embargoed: 5th December 2009 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Industry,Lifestyle
- Reuters ID: LVA9X48JPOBFIJ61RDFAFPVXZB6Z
- Story Text: A Japanese company's genetically engineered blue rose business blossoms.
The blue rose business is finally blossoming in Japan, five years after the first genetically-engineered buds were unveiled.
Suntory Flowers turned the old saying that roses are red and violets are blue on its head in June 2004 when it unveiled its latest creation but then had to spend the next five years getting government approval to sell the genetically engineered flowers.
But their 20 year effort in developing this flower seems to have been worth it.
Since they began its sale on November 3, the first 6,000 batch of roses they've produced for 2009 have been sold out, even though they cost 3,000 yen (33 U.S. dollars) for a single stem or nearly 10 times that of a normal rose.
Suntory's blue roses were the highlight of the International Flower Expo on Wednesday (November 11), though not everyone was rushing out to buy them.
"It's not something I'd rush out to buy immediately, but I think it's nice to give to someone special or for a special day." explained Kazuko Sakamoto, a 49-year old who also works in the flower business.
The blue roses named 'Applause' have a more distinct fragrance than the average roses according to visitors such as 38-year old Takako Nakata.
"I feel like it's got a scent that you can't find in other flowers. I came away with a really good impression." Nakata explained.
While the blue-ish tint to the petal may not seem all that blue to everyone, the manufacturers say it is indeed a world first genetically-blue pigment in roses.
"Roses don't naturally originally have a blue pigment to them. So we used genetic engineering to take the blue pigment of a pansy and put that into a rose to make these blue roses." Executive General Manager for Suntory Flowers, Yasunori Yomo explained to Reuters.
While other roses with exotic colors have hit the market before, most have been dyed flowers using artificial colouring.
Customers, so far, have loved the fresh bouquets.
"We've already received a large number of orders for these roses, and some customers are even being forced to wait to buy them." Yomo told Reuters at the Flower Expo.
Suntory is preparing for it's success already. By 2010, they hope to be selling at least 50,000 roses and quadruple that number by 2011.
Roses make up about 10% of the nearly 4 billion U.S. dollar Japanese cut flower market, and Suntory hopes to use this new rose to make its market share truly blossom.
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