Paul Lightfoot, BrightFarms: In the coming years, local will continue to be the number one driver for consumer demand in produce. Since 2016, sales of tenderleaf salad greens have been steadily declining, yet local salad greens are posting significant growth. According to SPINS, sales of local salads have grown 152% over the past three years and lift category sales for retailers by 36%.
Today, retailers are limited by access to local produce at scale. Local produce is most often found at farmer’s markets, but companies like BrightFarms are changing this, delivering fresh, local produce to retailers in markets around the country.
As consumer demand for local continues, indoor farming will also gain traction. Indoor farms make it possible for retailers to offer locally produced salad ingredients to consumers year-round, not just in the traditional summer growing months.