- Indoor farming company Gotham Greens said it will double the size of its greenhouse capacity from 600,000 square feet to more than 1.2 million square feet this year, allowing the 11-year-old business to enter new regions and expand its footprint in existing markets.
- The temperature-controlled hydroponic greenhouse operator is building facilities near Dallas, Atlanta and Denver and expanding existing sites in Chicago and Providence, Rhode Island. When complete, Gotham Greens will own and operate 12 greenhouses in eight states.
- Companies that grow produce indoors have grown rapidly as they benefit from consumer demand for produce grown locally and raised in more environmentally friendly ways.
Overview of the dive:
As companies rush to grow products indoors, first-mover advantage will play a significant role in not only attracting them to retailers, but also keeping them there.
Gotham Greens is one of many companies bringing crops that have traditionally been grown outdoors into more hospitable growing conditions indoors. With the growing demand for produce grown in more environmentally friendly conditions, indoor farming companies are rapidly striving to supply retailers and consumers.
Having the first truly local products available could pay dividends down the road. Stores could decide to display a producer’s products in more places or to offer more varieties of their vegetables and fruits. By having a facility near a retailer, producers build on the locally grown mantra and increase the likelihood that the chain will continue to work with them to meet growing demand.
Indoor farming companies tout many of the same attributes in promoting their businesses to retailers, buyers and investors, forcing them to find ways to distinguish themselves from one another. Either way, the facilities are more productive, use fewer resources such as water and land, can supply areas of the United States during non-growing seasons like winter, and are less likely to witness of an epidemic.
Gotham Greens aims to deliver its fresh produce within a day’s drive of its greenhouses to much of the nation’s population. Recently, it has seen particularly robust demand for its products. It posted 28% year-over-year growth, compared to a 1% increase over the same period for the total salad and prepackaged lettuce categories, according to Nielsen data cited by the company. in his press release.
Gotham Greens sells its green salads, herbs, dressings, dips and cooking sauces in approximately 3,000 stores in 45 US states nationwide.
“Our goal is to deliver Gotham Greens fresh produce within a day’s drive of our greenhouses to 90% of consumers across the United States,” Viraj Puri, co-founder and CEO of Gotham Greens, said in a statement. . “These strategic greenhouse expansion projects bring us closer to this important milestone.”
Other companies are also expanding their footprint. Driscoll’s and Plenty recently announced plans to build an indoor farm to grow the berry giant’s strawberries. Upward Farms plans to build a 250,000 square foot facility in Pennsylvania to supply microgreens throughout the Northeast “and beyond.” AppHarvest, one of the few publicly traded companies in the industry, is quadrupling its agricultural network and diversifying its crops to include salad greens and berries.
Earlier this month, indoor farming company Local Bounti announced it would acquire rival Hollandia Produce Group, which grows and sells leafy greens under the Pete’s name, for $122.5 million. With so many companies rapidly expanding at the same time in an effort to grab limited storage space, more deals are inevitable.