She says parings of mint with watermelon and strawberries and basil are becoming more popular, as well as the more traditional tarragon at Easter and other holiday herb specials for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
North Shore also is trying to promote their products at trade shows and other events, winning awards for their creative displays and booths. The company is also active on social media sites and understands the difficulty in explaining their product to consumers.
“We try to explain our story to consumers,” she said. “It’s a completely different growing method with the hydroponic system.”
She says the desire for people to know where their food came from is a good starting point for communication, especially because the hydroponic growing method allows for reduced water use and no ground water contamination.
“We are well positioned for that and want to convey our message to consumers,” Leiterman said.
Daniel Terrault, vice president of sales of HydroSerre Mirabel Inc., Quebec, said demand for the company’s hydroponically grown lettuce has been steady over the past 12 months.
“There’s no major growth, but it’s more stable. Some consumers buy (our products) every week,” Terrault said.
In order to grow the hydroponically grown living produce category, Terrault said a major marketing and advertising campaign would be required to reach consumers.
“We’d need some sort of big ad campaign to reach the entire market,” he said.
An effort that large would be very costly, however, so Terrault says most companies aren’t moving toward such a campaign.
“If we want to really grow this business, we’d need some type of association to help teach the consumer the difference between hydroponic living lettuce and the kind grown in a field,” Terrault said.