The Asia-Pacific microgreens market size was valued at USD 247 million in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 927 million by 2031, registering a CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast period (2022-2031).
Microgreens are delicate, young vegetable greens ranging from one to three inches. They are harvested 7 to 14 days after germination when both cotyledon leaves fully develop—often termed vegetable confetti. Due to their intense aromatic flavor and variation of colors and textures, microgreens are typically used to enhance the color, texture, or flavor of various foods, such as pasta, pizza, omelets, and salads. They contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Microgreens have fully matured cotyledon leaves and typically one pair of small, partially mature true leaves. Microgreens are grown using various farming techniques, including vertical, indoor, and commercial conservatories.
The microgreens market in China, Japan, India, Australia, South Korea, and the remainder of Asia-Pacific is studied. It is anticipated that the adoption of Western lifestyles and the increase in disposable income will drive the growth of the Asia-Pacific market.
Technological advances have directly influenced the growth of the microgreens market in agriculture, which is anticipated to continue during the forecast period. Microgreens can be cultivated effectively and extensively using indoor vertical farming. Multiple technologies, such as big data analytics, robotics, the Internet of Things, and artificial intelligence, can be integrated with indoor vertical farming so that microgreens can be intensively monitored, controlled, and supported to grow well without any agronomic constraints. The nutrition film technique (NFT) is one of the techniques used to promote plant growth, and it has been acquiring popularity in the microgreens industry.
Fast food, functional foods, organic fruits and vegetables, and other lifestyle food sources are gaining popularity, as are premium food items and highly nutritious food products.
Consumers are increasingly focusing on adopting agricultural foods with high nutritional value. They are willing to pay a higher price for fresh and organic produce to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart-related issues, and cancer. Additionally, many individuals are adopting a vegan lifestyle and seeking the best plant-based sources to meet their nutritional needs. This is anticipated to drive the market growth.
One of the latest innovations in indoor farming is vertical farming. Most farmers don't know if this method exists or what kinds of crops can be grown. Sensors, AI, autonomous systems, hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic systems are all used in vertical and greenhouse farming. A highly educated and competent team is required to run these complex systems.
The variety of available microgreens is extremely restricted. While many different kinds and species of vegetables exist, microgreens are still in short supply. The market expansion is predicted to be slowed by these issues.
Expensive machines, lighting, automatic systems, and temperature-controlling devices are required for indoor vertical farming. Therefore, the initial cost of indoor farming is significantly higher than that of conventional farming. The cost of urban land, which is higher than that of agriculture, is one of the primary contributors to the high investment level. In addition, energy accounts for a greater proportion of vertical farms' operating expenses and greenhouses' operating expenses. Indoor farming requires a substantial initial investment from farmers for devices, equipment, and other necessities.
Changes in consumer lifestyles have been one of the main contributors to the increasing popularity of microgreens in developing economies. In Asia-Pacific nations, a rise in per capita income has shifted consumer food preferences. Increased aspiration and desire for a luxurious lifestyle have resulted in a multiplication of market size and demand.
Awareness of microgreens requires not only advertising but also a vast distribution network. In developing economies, the proliferation of large retail stores, such as supermarkets and hypermarkets, has increased the accessibility of microgreens, as these stores contribute to the rise in sales of functional foods. Supermarkets, hypermarkets, and grocery stores have served as ideal distribution point for various agricultural food products, including packaged fruits and vegetables. Urbanization expansion is anticipated to stimulate the expansion of the retail sector, which in turn generates demand for microgreens.
The Asia-Pacific microgreens market is segmented based on type, farming, distribution channel, and end-user.
By type, the microgreens market is categorized into broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, arugula, peas, basil, radish, cress, and others.
Broccoli dominated the market and is expected to register a CAGR of 12.3% over the forecast period.
By farming, the microgreens market is categorized into indoor vertical farming, commercial greenhouses, and others.
Indoor vertical farming is expected to dominate the market, registering the highest CAGR of 13.7% over the forecast period.
By distribution channel, the microgreens market is categorized into retail stores, farmers market, and others.
Retail stores segment dominated the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.8% during the forecast period.
By end-user, the microgreens market is categorized into residential and commercial.
Commercial segment dominated the market and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.3% during the forecast period.
Asia-Pacific is a significant revenue contributor and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13.2% during the forecast period.
The Asia-Pacific region is the fastest-growing market for microgreens, and the demand for functional and nutritious foods is soaring. Increasing health consciousness, high expenditure on functional foods, and rising demand for organic vegetables are primarily to blame. China and Japan hold the largest share of the Asia-Pacific microgreens market, both in terms of production and consumption, and are expected to maintain this position throughout the forecast period, owing to the increasing technological innovations and their successful implementation and use by local vegetable and fruit growers.
In the Asia-Pacific region, broccoli and broccoli microgreens are primarily consumed and produced. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, China and India were responsible for 73% of global broccoli production in 2017. China produced approximately 10.4 million metric tons of broccoli in 2017, followed by India, which produced 8.2 million metric tons.
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