By producing ingredients onsite using advanced technology in hydroponics and aeroponics, restaurants can meet consumers’ desire for localism to an even greater degree than locally sourced products, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
According to GlobalData’s Q4 2017 consumer survey, 38 per cent of consumers consider locally produced products to be healthier, 70 per cent think they are fresher, but only 22 per cent think this means they are more traceable. This reflects a concern amongst consumers that, even if a product is produced locally, that does not mean they have any idea of how it is produced. Onsite growing, perhaps even in front of the consumers’ eyes, can make the plant to plate connection obvious and can encourage a healthy image for a dish.
William Grimwade, associate consumer analyst at GlobalData said, “this phenomenon has so far been limited to high end, independent restaurants who can charge a premium for using ultra local ingredients, however chains could adopt this trend, by investing in new technologies that can provide greater food production in a smaller area.”
Other examples of restaurants that have invested in hydroponics and aeroponics are Californian chain, Tender Greens, who surround their diners with aeroponic towers that are growing next week’s lunch at a rapid rate, whilst providing a natural feel to the restaurant. Also, New York restaurant, Bell Book and Candle have a roof garden filled with aeroponic towers that meet 90 per cent of the restaurant’s need for vegetables and herbs.