Many companies attribute their increased sales to having organic offerings. In January, 2011, TerraSphere Systems said its vertically-farmed spinach was selling off the shelves “mostly because it’s organic and has a unique taste” (Brusatore, 2011). TerraSphere Systems can claim some of its products as organic because the company uses a small amount of soil in its hydroponic greenhouses. Because produce that is made in the traditional hydroponic fashion has no soil, it can never be labeled organic. However, hydroponic produce does have all of the attributes that make organic produce so valuable to consumers, and it also has many additional benefits. Thus, with the right marketing focus, a hydroponic grower can emphasize the relevant lettuce attributes and incite trial among consumers. With the right price and a quality product, that grower can then retain those customers and compete in the retail market space.
Leafy greens made through GrowPonics technology have many advantages over those produced through traditional farming methods. The lettuce and herbs have numerous attributes that make them more attractive for both consumers and retailers than field grown greens. However, GrowPonics is not the only company in North America that is working to develop a product that has the same advantages. We have identified two major competitors in the hydroponic and vertically farmed space that farmers and investors look to when determining which greenhouses to buy, lease, or invest in. These North American companies are CropKing out of Ohio and TerraSphere out of Boston, Massachusetts and British Columbia, Canada.
CropKing – CropKing is a company that sells hydroponic greenhouses, systems, and seeds. Farmers who want to own their own greenhouses and put them on their land will often look to this company. CropKing offers Nutrient Film Technique (NFT) technology for its lettuce and herbs, and it provides a two-day workshop to train new or prospective...