Indoor farming has been widely adopted in the agricultural industry, large-scale vertical farming operations such as Aerofarms and Bowery Growing to companies that sell smaller systems intended to allow customers to grow food at home. At a time when food and beverage consumers valued essentials, healthy eating, convenience, and home-cooked meals, the indoor gardening market was poised for significant growth.
“Indoor gardening opens up the world of growing your own food to a much wider audience – all people who might otherwise be constrained by short growing seasons and extreme weather conditions (especially in climates North) or a lack of outdoor space for a traditional garden,” said Hank Adams, CEO of hydroponic home gardening system provider Gardens of the climb. “Additionally, indoor gardens are very productive in terms of the amount of food you can grow per square foot, and sustainable in terms of the amount of energy and water used to grow.”
Martin Laidla, public relations manager for the smart garden producer Click and expand, added that food trends such as plant-based foods, plant-based parenting, sustainability became even more relevant once the coronavirus pandemic hit. These ideas lend themselves to the growing popularity of indoor gardening among a wide variety of users.
“Smart indoor gardens don’t require any prior knowledge or experience of growing plants, and the growing process is controlled by technology, resulting in a higher success rate,” Laidla explained. “Indoor smart gardens typically grow plants 30-50% faster because they are designed to provide the best growing conditions for specific plants. Because of this, they also contain more nutrients.
“The farm-to-table idea has slowly evolved into ‘garden-to-table’ as more and more people see the benefits of growing their own produce,” Adams said.
Pandemic sparks increased interest in gardening
When the pandemic-related shutdowns and lockdowns began last spring, many people turned to new hobbies such as baking, Arts and crafts and gardening. Adams and Laidla both report that Rise Gardens and Click & Grow have seen an increase in sales since March 2020 and that these strong sales have continued throughout the pandemic.
Rise Gardens offers many gardening systems as well as a wide range of seeds and accessories that allow users to grow multiple types of plants in one unit. The versatility this offers consumers is greatly beneficial for those looking to have plenty of healthy food options.
“We’ve seen a very large percentage of our customers add these accessories to increase volume and variety and we think that’s why they’ve stayed with us at a remarkably consistent level,” Adams said.
Laidla cites the significant and widespread supply chain constraints that have plagued the food and beverage industry this year as another example of why consumers are turning to Click & Grow’s products. Growing vegetables such as leafy greens in one of their systems allows consumers to have a healthy and safe alternative to store-bought greens that also reduces waste.
Indoor cultivation as a hobby, the habit persists
“As with any hobby, you want to keep evolving and exploring,” Adams said. “We’ve made an effort to focus on experiences that can help bring some comfort to people’s lives.”
He shared that Rise Gardens plans to release Alexa voice control integrations for its systems soon, which will be used to change light and timing, as well as notify owners if plants need more water or nutrients. . The company is also looking to make improvements to its app as well as rolling out a microgreens accessory to continue improving the user experience and providing more options for growth.
Laidla agreed that growing your own food indoors will continue: “Indoor gardening has won the hearts and minds of people all over the world.”
He said the overall smart garden market is expected to see more investment and growth in the future, and Click & Grow plans to double in size every year to meet demand. The brand’s latest product, the Click & Grow 25, uses Smart Soil plant pods – which they compare to coffee pods used in single-serve coffee machines – to garden leafy greens all year round in ideal conditions. Products Home Page has already greatly exceeded its support target.
The indoor gardening trend has clearly shifted from a “quarantine hobby” to a long-term habit for many people this year.
“There’s nothing like the feeling of watching a seed sprout and grow into a beautiful, nutritious plant that can feed our families,” Adams said.
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