The global microgreens market was worth USD 1,445 million in 2021. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 3,695 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 11% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
Microgreens are edible plants gathered at an early stage of development. Their crop cycle is short. Depending on the species and microgreens, they are ready to harvest in 7 to 14 days. Microgreens are primarily grown in indoor vertical and greenhouse farming methods since they require a lot of attention and a regulated environment. Microgreens grow best at 18 to 24°C and relative humidity (RH) of 40 to 60%. Therefore sheltered cultivation is commonly utilized.
Microgreens are becoming increasingly popular among health-conscious people due to their high concentration of vitamins and antioxidants, which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular and chronic disease. Microgreens also require fewer resources to grow at home for daily consumption. Therefore they can be produced in the garden or on the roof. Increased acceptance of protected culture and government financial and technical assistance to farmers to install protected cultivation plants are expected to help boost microgreen production.
The global microgreens market is segmented across type, farming method, distribution channel, end-user, and region.
Indoor cultivation is nothing but the cultivation of food crops in a controlled environment so that the crops can be produced in any season with high productivity. An increase in food demand and reduction in agricultural food production have led farmers to use indoor Farming. The decline in agriculture production is mainly due to decreasing fertile land, unfavorable climatic conditions, and limitations on the use of natural resources. With such factors, production by conventional Farming is not sufficient to satisfy the demand of the growing population. For instance, according to the United Nations (UN), the current world population of 7.6 billion is expected to reach 9.8 billion by 2050 and 11.2 billion by 2100 (UN, 2017).
Greenhouses and indoor vertical Farming are majorly used farming practices to produce microgreens, owing to benefits such as increased productivity of farming land, control against extreme weather conditions, more efficient use of productive resources, and minimizing the risk of pests, weeds, and crop diseases. Furthermore, the rise in technological innovations in indoor Farming, including the insurgence of information technology in vertical Farming and greenhouses, further promotes farmers to adopt agriculture, which indirectly supports the growth of the global microgreens market during the forecast period.
Microgreens, considered an emerging functional food, are young seedlings of vegetables and herbs produced in seven to fourteen days. They have gained popularity in restaurants but are still relatively unknown and not well understood, owing to a lack of awareness regarding the health benefits and lack of proper technical knowledge for its cultivation. It has enormous potential to satisfy the growing demand for vegetables and highly nutritious food.
Sprouts, microgreens, and baby greens are among the many forms of immature vegetables that are becoming increasingly popular due to their higher nutritional worth than mature plants or seeds. They're becoming more popular as a new culinary item, and they're being used to dress up salads and as edible garnishes on a range of different foods. Microgreens are considered a premium product because of their higher retail price points. With the rise in the adoption of protected cultivation farming, people are becoming aware of high-valued crops and their immense demand in developed countries, including the US, Spain, and Japan.
Indoor vertical farming is one of the emerging technologies in indoor Farming. Most farmers are unaware of this technology and the crops that can be cultivated through this farming type. Vertical farming and greenhouses farming involve various technologies such as sensors, artificial intelligence, automatic systems, hydroponic, aquaponics, and aeroponic systems. To operate these advanced systems, a knowledgeable and skilled workforce is essential.
Maintenance of machines and computers requires technically well-trained people. The shortage of a skilled workforce has affected different sectors globally, and vertical Farming is not an exception. In addition, most farmers venture into this market with their systems, which are not efficient in terms of design and are costly. There is a minimal range of microgreens types. Microgreens are not yet available in vegetables as vegetables are found in various types and species. These parameters are predicted to restrain the market growth.
Microgreens require not only advertisement for its awareness but also a wide-area distribution network. A rapidly increasing number of large retail stores, including supermarkets and hypermarkets in developing economies, has enabled the easier availability of microgreens. These stores help increase the sales of functional foods. Supermarkets and hypermarkets and grocery stores have served as a better distribution point for various agricultural food products such as packaged fruits and vegetables. Expansion in urbanization is expected to boost the growth of the retail sector, which in turn generates the demand for microgreens. Furthermore, microgreens growers are operating their websites for selling microgreens. Online farmer's markets and online stores are supporting the growth of the microgreens market during the forecast period.
Based on type, the global microgreens market share is categorized into broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, peas, radish, basil, carrots, and others.
Broccoli dominates the market and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 560 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 10%. There are numerous health advantages linked with broccoli consumption, such as fighting inflammation, cancer prevention, improved heart health, and improved digestion. Therefore, the growing popularity of the health benefits of broccoli microgreens and the adoption of roof gardens and park gardens to grow microgreens are expected to surge the demand for microgreens through broccoli microgreens type.
Arugula is in the second-largest position in the market. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 335 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 9.4%. An increase in demand for arugula microgreens is witnessed from the restaurants as it is used to garnish food items and in fresh microgreens salad. In addition, growing arugula is cheap as seeds are only USD 15/lb. It is utilized in various dishes such as pizza with pesto, mozzarella, and arugula microgreens, beef burger with arugula microgreens, and arugula microgreens pesto.
Arugula microgreens are low in sugar, calories, carbohydrates, and fat. Additionally, they are high in several vital nutrients, including calcium, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and vitamin A. The primary health benefit associated with the consumption of the arugula is that it protects against ulcers. These factors drive the growth of the market.
Based on the farming method, the global microgreens market is segregated into indoor vertical farming, commercial greenhouse farming, and others.
Indoor vertical farming holds the largest share in the market and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 1,510 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 11.2%. Indoor vertical farming is majorly used for microgreens production and is expected to be highly utilized during the forecast period. This is attributed to the growing technological evolution in indoor vertical Farming, such as remote operations, and the insurgence of the information technology that allows managing things through mobile applications, automatic irrigations, and fertilizations.
Commercial greenhouse farming accounts for the second-largest market and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 715 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 10.1%. Commercial greenhouses are designed to grow crops, vegetables, and fruits in a controlled environment, which helps farmers and entrepreneurs to produce more yields all year round compared to traditional farming methods. Greenhouses mainly depend on sunlight and require a horizontal arrangement of plants to access equal exposure to sunlight. This means they need a large amount of space and are best suited for rural or suburban areas. The greenhouse has gained a significant share in microgreens production and is expected to sustain its claim during the forecast period.
Based on the distribution channel, the global microgreens market is segmented into retail stores, online stores, and farmers’ markets.
The farmers’ market is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 745 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 9.8%. The farmers’ market has gained significant traction among health-conscious consumers due to increased access to fresh and nutritious food. Consumers increasingly find places to purchase fruits, vegetables, and organic items. Therefore, selling microgreens in the farmers’ market is preferred. Furthermore, microgreens growers are increasingly choosing farmers' markets, owing to other attributes such as less transport, handling, refrigeration, high profit, and less time in storage. Along with the benefits for the farmers, consumers are also benefiting through the farmer's market, owing to lower prices as compared to supermarket/hypermarkets and a better variety of food such as organic and inorganic.
By end-user, the global microgreens market is segmented into residential and commercial.
The commercial sector dominates the market and is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 1,715 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 10.4%. Growing applications of microgreens in food services, personal care, cosmetic industry, and herbal medicine industry are likely to increase the demand for microgreens. The key players in the market are continuously evolving the requirements of the commercial sector by modifying and innovating existing microgreens just like non-microgreens products. As a result, frequent product launches, especially for the retail segment, have been witnessed in the past few years.
The residential sector is the fastest-growing market. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 820 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 12.7%. The residential component refers to the non-commercial consumption of microgreens. Other than direct consumption, people increasingly use microgreen processed products in the kitchen for immediate consumption and additional food products to enhance taste, texture, and aroma.
Region-wise, the global microgreens market share is analyzed across North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and LAMEA.
North America holds the highest share in the global microgreens market and is expected to sustain its claim during the forecast period. The North American microgreens market is studied across the US, Canada, and Mexico. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 960 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 10.2%. This is attributed to growing technological development in the indoor vertical Farming and its quick adoption by the vegetable and microgreens growers.
In the US, microgreens are in high demand from chefs as flavor enhancements and as colorful garnishes on the plates of the hotels and restaurants; that is why organic vegetable growers are tapping into this microgreens market. Furthermore, these organic vegetable growers are taking advantage of the considerably low competition in the market as microgreens are an emerging and untapped market. According to USDA,
Europe has gained a considerable share in the global microgreens market and is expected to sustain its claim during the forecast period. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 715 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 9.7%. Europe microgreens market is studied across Russia, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and the rest of Europe. This is attributed to the growing popularity of microgreens in health-conscious populations and the quick adoption of indoor vertical farming technology.
Further, an increasing number of restaurants and increasing demand for healthy food items in Europe is likely to increase the demand for microgreens in Europe. Furthermore, the area under protected cultivation in Europe has been growing considerably and gained a significant share in the global area under protected cultivation is likely to drive the growth of the global microgreens market during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing region. It is estimated to reach an expected value of USD 620 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 14.1%. Asia-Pacific is the fastest-growing market for microgreens, and the demand for functional and healthy food items is incredibly increasing. This is attributed to growing health-conscious people, high spending on functional foods, and increasing demand for organic vegetables.
According to the production and consumption point of view, China and Japan have gained the highest share in the Asia-Pacific microgreens market. They are expected to sustain their share during the forecast period, owing to growing technological innovations and their successful implementation and use in local vegetable and fruit growers. Broccoli and broccoli microgreens are majorly consumed and produced in Asia-Pacific.
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