According to the global vertical farming crops market report, the market was valued at $212.4 million in 2019, and is projected to reach $1,384.6 million by 2027, registering a CAGR of 26.2%. In 2019, the hydroponics segment accounted for the highest market share in the global vertical farming crops market. Vertical farming refers to type of indoor agriculture wherein the plants are produced in vertical layers. They could also be stacked horizontally or in three-dimensional configurations. Some of the plants grown through vertical farming include vining plants, leafy greens, herbs, and specialty produce.
The essential nutrients in fruits and vegetables are reduced to a considerable extent during import and export. In addition, majority of this conventionally grown produce is sprayed with pesticides and fungicides. These factors drive the consumers’ inclination toward locally grown produce. Furthermore, due to increased focus toward health consciousness, the demand for pesticide-free food products, by consumers globally, has risen radically, which is one of the most crucial factors that propels the demand for vertically farmed crops, since they are cultivated with extreme hygiene, are pesticide-free, and delivered for direct retail within hours of harvest. Moreover, with the advancement in technologies and the use of Internet of Things (IoT), crops grown through vertical farming are uninterruptedly tracked for optimum nutrition and growth as well as reduced human intervention. Most significantly, vertically farmed crops enable to meet the year-round demand for crops since they are resistant from outside environmental alterations, interventions, and hence can be cultivated numerous times yearly. These factors cumulatively drive the demand for global vertical farming crops market. However, cultivating crops through vertical farming incurs high investment since it requires skilled workforce, LED lights, water and nutrient reservoir, irrigation system, and other related technological and building costs. These factors can potentially hinder the growth of the market.
One of the most significant impact of the pandemic was on the global economy and subsequent shrinking of the GDP in global economies. This factor is largely accountable for the change in consuming spending behavior. Owing to this factor, the demand for vertical farming produce was affected since the price of conventionally grown foods is comparatively lower. Consumers preference and attitude towards spending reflected in their buying behavior and hence negatively impacted the market. Furthermore, the supply chain was interrupted owing to the reduction in skilled workforce and restrictions on manufacturing operations. This in addition generated shortage in key mechanisms required for automotive manufacturing. Ultimately, the decline in cultivation output as a consequence of labor and raw materials shortage and partial operations led to a decline in the vertical farming crops market.
On the contrary, well established, existing players in the industry can anticipate to see higher traction in the market soon after the lockdown and other restrictions ease. Consumers will certainly opt for food products that add value to their healthy lifestyle and help them to maintain immunity
By Crop Type
The Others segment would witness the fastest growth, registering a CAGR of 26.2% during the forecast period.
The vertical farming crops market analysis is segmented on the basis of crop type, end user, farming technique, and region. Based on crop type, the market is categorized into tomato, leafy greens, herbs, and others. By end user, the market is bifurcated into direct retail and food service. By farming technique, the market is classified into hydroponics, aeroponics, and aquaponics. Region wise, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.
On the basis of crop type, the leafy green crop category was the dominant segment in 2019 with 50.6% market share as they offer the highest harvestable yield in vertical farming, can be produced within a shorter span of time (weeks), and are hence economically viable. For instance, crops like lettuce, grow within 3 to 5 weeks on average and almost an entire plant can be sold and thereby offers high harvestable yield. These factors enable to offer a more reliable and uniform produce. However, the other crops segment is anticipated to grow at a faster rate during the vertical farming crops market forecast period, owing to rise in demand for vegetable produce such as pepper, cucumber, strawberries, and others. Furthermore, high demand for specialty produce from high-end restaurant chefs, such as edible flowers, further drives the segment growth.
By End User
Food Service segment would witness the fastest growth, registering a CAGR of 26.4% during the forecast period.
On the basis of end user, the direct retail category was the dominant vertical farming crops market segment in 2019 with 66.4% market share as majority of the companies have an ultra-short supply chain and deliver the produce almost regularly to local retailers including Walmart and Whole Foods Market. However, the food service segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period, owing to factors such as increase in demand especially for year-round crops and specialty plants from local restaurants and cafes, food distributors, and small growers.
On the basis of farming technique, the hydroponics segment accounted for the maximum vertical farming crops market share in 2019, as it is the most widely used farming technique, which is easier to setup, costs less, and offers faster returns on investment. However, the aeroponics segment is expected to grow at a higher CAGR during the forecast period as it is an advanced farming technique that uses no growing medium unlike its counterpart, hydroponics. Crops grown through aeroponics grow faster and are less prone to diseases.
By Farming Technique
Aeroponics segment woud witness the fastest growth, registering a CAGR of 27.2% during the forecast period.
On the basis of region, North America was the prominent region for in 2019. The vertical farming crops market growth is attributed to factors such as alarming rate of water level depletion, presence of drought-stricken states, and increase in environmental concerns. Most of the top players producing highest vertical farming crops market are located in the region, they include Aerofarms, Plenty, BrightFarms, and Gotham Greens, among others. However, Asia-Pacific is expected to witness a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Asian governments have been promoting crop cultivation through urban farming by providing subsidies and national policy initiatives. Several Asian countries have organizations whose objective is to encourage city agriculturalists with the ability to grow locally for sustainable food production. In addition, countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, among others, are one of the top fresh produce importing countries. This factor makes these Asian countries highly vulnerable to food price fluctuations and dependency on imports. Hence, the development and growth of vertical farming crops market is expected to witness significant growth during the forecast period.
The key players operating in the global vertical farming crops market include AeroFarms, PlantLab, Spread Co., Bowery Farming, InFarm, Plenty, Gotham Greens, AgriCool, CropOne, and Green Spirits Farm.
Asia-Pacific region woud witness the fastest growth, registering a CAGR of 27.0% during the forecast period.
Key Benefits For Stakeholders
- The report provides a quantitative analysis of the current vertical farming crops market trends, estimations, and dynamics of the market size from 2021 to 2027 to identify the prevailing opportunities.
- Porter’s five forces analysis highlights the potency of buyers and suppliers to enable stakeholders to make profit-oriented business decisions and strengthen their supplier–buyer network.
- In-depth analysis and the vertical farming crops market size and segmentation assists in determining the prevailing opportunities.
- The major countries in each region are mapped according to their revenue contribution to the market.
- The market player positioning segment facilitates benchmarking and provides a clear understanding of the present position of the market players in the vertical farming crops industry.
Vertical Farming Crops Market Report Highlights
By Crop Type
By End User
By Farming Technique
Key Market Players
AGRICOOL, FARM.ONE, INC., GOTHAM GREENS, BRIGHTFARMS, SKY URBAN SOLUTIONS HOLDING PTE LTD, AEROFARMS LLC, PLENTY UNLIMITED INC., BADIA FARMS, INFARM GmbH, BOWERY FARMING INC.
According to the CXO’s of leading companies, the vertical farming crops market is expected to grow exponentially during the forecast period, owing to various factors such as growth in population in urban areas and demand–supply gap for food, increase in preference for pesticide-free food crops, and the ease of crop monitoring and harvesting through vertical farming.
Vertical farming crops have now become a consolidated reality since the number of players entering the industry are increasing rapidly and the sector is continuously evolving. Crops cultivated through vertical farming offer greater nutritional benefits, better texture, and taste. The controlled conditions enable cultivators to save growth cycles a year, depending on the crop type. It also eliminates the use of herbicides or pesticides; thereby, offering natural crops. Furthermore, their short supply chains also enable them to be delivered to consumers quickly. Vertical farming offers higher yield of crops in a limited space as compared to conventional agricultural, which makes them highly sustainable in an environmentally friendly way.
The CXOs further added that the scenario of a pandemic, COVID-19 in particular, has further driven the practicalities of vertically farmed crops and its importance. In regions with food shortages due to environmental reasons, vertical farming crops can be the finest solution.