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Growing "Against the Odds"

Growing "Against the Odds"

Growing your microgreen business in an economically challenging year requires strategic insight and a proactive approach. 2024 is beginning to look promising and if you're in the microgreens business, you're already AHEAD of the hickey stick growth we're expecting as inflation continues to recede. Here's some tips for commercial microgreen growers to thrive against what seems to be the odds:

1. Leverage Subtle Economic Indicators

a. Waste Analysis as a Business Barometer

  • Strategy: Pay attention to the amount of waste people leave at the curb, as it indicates consumer spending habits. An increase in waste signals a rise in consumer spending on soft and hard goods, which can benefit microgreen sales.

b. Capitalizing on Federal Reserve Policies

  • Observation: Lowering of interest rates by the Federal Reserve often results in increased investment and consumer spending.

  • Action: Stay informed about these changes. Lower interest rates can lead to more restaurant openings in a 12-month span and increased spending on profitable food items like microgreens.

2. Understanding the Stock Market Dynamics

  • Insight: Despite pessimistic media coverage, the stock market's growth can indicate an overall economic improvement and right now, in December 2023, our market is setting new records every day!

  • Application: Use this knowledge to forecast potential growth in the hospitality and food service industries, which are primary markets for microgreens.

3. Cultivating a Growth Mindset

  • Mindset: Maintain a positive outlook on your business's potential because there's a lot of money to be made. Even in tough times, niche markets like microgreens can flourish.

  • Approach: Innovate and adapt. Explore new varieties or growing techniques that could set your product apart.

4. Engaging with Customers and Suppliers

  • Customer Feedback: Regularly talk to your clients, especially those in the restaurant and food service industries, to gauge their business outlook.

  • Supplier Relations: Strengthen relationships with your suppliers. Good relations can lead to better deals or insights into market trends over time.

5. Seasonal Planning and Market Assessment

  • Timing: Understand the seasonal nature of your business. December might see a spike in demand, followed by a drop in January.

  • Market Research: Use quieter periods for market research and planning your next moves so you can effectively control expectations around cash flow, sales, and expenses.

6. Expanding Marketing and Distribution Channels

  • Marketing: Increase your online presence and explore direct-to-consumer sales channels.

  • Distribution: Look into expanding your distribution network, perhaps targeting areas that are showing economic resilience.

7. Innovating and Diversifying

  • Product Innovation: Experiment with new microgreen varieties or packaging to attract a broader customer base.

  • Diversification: Consider diversifying into related areas, like edible flowers or specialty herbs, to mitigate risk.


For commercial microgreen growers, the key to thriving in uncertain economic times lies in staying informed, being adaptable, and maintaining a positive, growth-focused mindset. Utilize subtle economic indicators to anticipate market trends and adjust your business strategy accordingly. There is potential for growth in every market condition, and with a strategic approach, your microgreen business can not only survive but flourish.