21 Most Profitable Microgreens Crops To Grow And Sell In 2023

Most Profitable Microgreens Crops To Grow And Sell

The demand for microgreens has steadily increased in recent years as health-conscious consumers seek nutrient-packed alternatives to enhance their meals. These tiny, flavor-packed greens have become popular with chefs, food enthusiasts, and health-conscious individuals. 

With their vibrant colors, unique flavors, and impressive nutritional profiles, microgreens offer an exciting opportunity for aspiring growers to capitalize on this thriving market.

Microgreens have been a trend that’s caught on like wildfire when growing your food. These miniature greens pack a punch in flavor, nutrition, and of course, profitability. The question: are microgreens profitable can be put to rest – these little powerhouses are worth the investment. 

They can yield some of the highest profit margins in the agricultural industry. So, if you’re considering starting a microgreen business in 2023, we’ve got you covered. 

This article delves into the comprehensive list of the 21 most profitable microgreens crops to grow and sell. Everyone will be after these microgreens – and so should you- from health enthusiasts to professional chefs!

Key Takeaways 


  • Microgreens have gained popularity in the culinary world, and their demand continues to rise. Their small size, concentrated flavors, and appealing appearance make them a valuable commodity for high-end restaurants, specialty markets, and health-conscious consumers.
  • Microgreens have a concise growth cycle, typically one to three weeks. This allows for multiple harvests within a short period, resulting in a rapid turnover and increased revenue potential.
  • Microgreens can be cultivated in small areas, such as trays or shelves, making them suitable for urban farming or small-scale operations. This compact production system allows growers to maximize space utilization and achieve a higher yield per square foot.
  • Microgreens are often sold at a premium price due to their unique characteristics and high demand. Their gourmet appeal and popularity in upscale restaurants contribute to higher profit margins than conventional crops.

Microgreens Trends: Market Analysis & Growth Forecast

Microgreens have become a popular ingredient in modern cuisine and for a good reason. These small, edible greens are harvested after the sprouting stage but before the plant develops its true leaves. While they are tiny, they pack a punch when it comes to nutrients, flavors, and textures.

The market for microgreens is growing exponentially as consumers seek healthy, locally sourced ingredients to incorporate into their diets. The demand for fresh, organic, and sustainable products has contributed to the increase in production and availability of microgreens in various retail and food service outlets.

A significant trend in the microgreens industry is the rise of hydroponics, which involves growing plants in nutrient-rich water without soil. Hydroponics allows for the consistently producing of high-quality microgreens with fewer pesticides and water use than traditional farming. 

The growth of hydroponic microgreens is predicted to increase even further as the industry focuses on reducing the environmental footprint of food production.

Moreover, with the rise of plant-based diets and the demand for alternative protein sources, microgreens are gaining popularity as healthy and tasty meal supplements. 

Microgreens have high levels of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants vital for overall health and wellness. These greens are also a great way to add variety to meals and create aesthetically pleasing dish presentations.

The microgreens industry is forecasted to grow as the demand for sustainable, nutrient-dense, and locally-grown produce increases. According to Grand View Research, the global microgreens market is expected to reach USD 1.43 billion by 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.6%.

Overall, microgreens are becoming an essential part of the modern diet, and their benefits to health and the environment are undeniable. With the industry’s focus on sustainability, technology, and health-conscious consumers, we expect continued growth and innovation in the microgreens market in the coming years.

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Are Microgreens Profitable?

Microgreens are a trending addition to any meal. These little greens are grown in small amounts and harvested before they reach full maturity. They come in various flavors, colors, and textures, making them a staple in high-end restaurants, specialty food markets, and in-home gardens.

The question on many people’s minds is: are microgreens profitable? The answer is a resounding yes!

Firstly, the demand for microgreens is high and continuously increasing. According to Grand View Research, the global microgreens market was valued at $12.1 million in 2020 and is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1% from 2021 to 2028. 

The increase in demand for healthy and flavorful food has made microgreens a popular choice among health-conscious consumers.

Secondly, microgreens production requires less space, water, and time than traditional crops. Therefore, farmers and hobbyists can grow microgreens year-round in small spaces, indoors, and on balconies. The low production costs and high yield of microgreens make it an ideal crop for small-scale farmers and urban gardeners.

Lastly, microgreens are profitable because of their high price point. They can be sold for up to $50 per pound, making them an excellent choice for small businesses looking for high-margin products.

In conclusion, microgreens are not only profitable, but they are also a sustainable crop with significant demand in the food market. If you want to make a profit or add healthy and delicious greens to your meals, consider microgreens. 

How to Start a Profitable Microgreens Business

Starting a profitable microgreens business requires careful planning, attention to detail, and a solid market understanding. To get you started, here’s a step-by-step guide:

#1. Research and Planning

   – Understand the microgreens market: Research local demand, competition, and potential customers. Identify popular varieties and assess their profitability.

   – Develop a business plan: Define your goals, target market, pricing strategy, marketing approach, and financial projections. This strategy will function as your business roadmap.

#2. Acquire Knowledge and Skills

   – Learn about microgreens: Gain knowledge about different microgreens varieties, their growth requirements, and nutritional profiles. Understand the best practices for planting, growing, and harvesting.

   – Gain business skills: Enhance your knowledge of business management, marketing, customer service, and financial management. Consider attending workshops and courses or consulting with experts.

#3. Set Up your Operation

   – Find suitable space: Determine the scale of your operation and secure a space that provides adequate room for growing racks, storage, and workspace. Consider factors like lighting, temperature control, and ventilation.

   – Gather equipment and supplies: Purchase the necessary equipment, such as growing trays, grow lights, irrigation systems, and seeds. Ensure you have a reliable source for high-quality seeds and organic growing mediums.

#4. Establish Growing Procedures

   – Develop a growing system: Set up a consistent and efficient process. Determine each microgreen variety’s planting density, watering schedule, and lighting requirements. Document these procedures for future reference.

   – Maintain proper hygiene: Implement strict cleanliness measures to prevent contamination and ensure food safety. Regularly sanitize your growing area, trays, and tools.

#5. Source and Manage Inventory

   – Select reliable suppliers: Establish relationships with reputable seed suppliers and organic growing medium providers. Make certain that your goods are of high quality and consistent.

   – Manage Inventory effectively: Track seed quantities, monitor expiration dates, and maintain appropriate stock levels. This will prevent shortages and wastage.

#6. Marketing and Sales

   – Define your target market: Identify potential customers such as restaurants, local markets, health food stores, and individual consumers. Understand their needs and preferences.

   – Develop a brand: Create a compelling brand identity, including a name, logo, and packaging. Focus on highlighting your microgreens’ quality, freshness, and nutritional value.

   – Implement marketing strategies: Utilize online platforms, social media, and local advertising to promote your business. Consider attending farmers’ markets or establishing partnerships with local businesses.

   – Provide excellent customer service: Build strong customer relationships through prompt communication, reliable delivery, and consistent product quality.

#7. Monitor Finances

   – Track expenses and revenues: Keep detailed records of all business-related expenses and income. Regularly review your financial statements to assess profitability and identify areas for improvement.

   – Pricing strategy: Set competitive prices based on market research, production costs, and desired profit margins. Consider offering discounts or incentives to attract new customers.

#8. Scale and Expand

   – Evaluate growth opportunities: Monitor the demand for microgreens and consider expanding your product range or entering new markets. Explore options like wholesale distribution, subscription services, or value-added products.

   – Continuously improve: Stay updated with industry trends and adapt your practices accordingly. Seek feedback from customers and make adjustments to enhance your offerings.

Remember, starting a microgreens business requires patience and perseverance. It may take time to establish a customer base and refine your processes. You can build a profitable and sustainable business by providing high-quality microgreens, excellent service, and a unique selling proposition.

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21 Most Profitable Microgreens Crops To Grow And Sell 

Microgreens have gained significant popularity recently due to their high nutritional value and versatility in culinary applications. While the profitability of specific microgreens crops may vary based on market demand and regional factors, here are 21 popular and potentially profitable microgreens crops to grow and sell:

#1. Pea Shoots

profitable microgreens

Pea shoots are a popular choice among microgreens enthusiasts. They have a mild, sweet flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and folic acid. Pea shoots are relatively easy to grow and have a quick turnaround time, usually ready for harvest in 2-3 weeks. 

Profit margins for pea shoots can be significant. With proper planning and efficient cultivation techniques, you can expect a substantial profit from growing and selling pea shoots.

#2. Sunflower

profitable microgreens

Sunflower microgreens have a distinctive nutty flavor and contain nutrients like vitamin E, zinc, and selenium. They are known for their vibrant appearance and can fetch a good price in the market. Sunflower microgreens typically take around two weeks to reach maturity. 

The profit potential for sunflower microgreens is favorable. Growing sunflower microgreens can be profitable with careful cultivation and efficient marketing strategies.

#3. Radish

profitable microgreens

Radish microgreens are well-known for their spicy and peppery flavor. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and B6 and minerals like calcium and iron. Radish microgreens are quick to grow, typically ready for harvest within 1-2 weeks. 

The demand for radish microgreens has been steadily increasing, and health-conscious consumers and gourmet chefs often seek after them. 

#4. Broccoli

profitable microgreens

Broccoli microgreens have a mild and slightly bitter taste, similar to mature broccoli. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K and sulforaphane, a compound known for its potential health benefits. Broccoli microgreens usually take 1-2 weeks to reach the harvest stage. 

The market demand for broccoli microgreens has been growing steadily, especially among health-conscious individuals. 

#5. Arugula

profitable microgreens

Arugula microgreens have a distinctive peppery and nutty flavor. They are rich in vitamins A, K, folate, and antioxidants. Arugula microgreens typically take 1-2 weeks to grow and are popular in salads, sandwiches, and garnish. The demand for arugula microgreens has been increasing, particularly in the culinary industry. 

#6. Kale

profitable microgreens

Kale microgreens have a mild and slightly bitter taste, similar to mature kale. They contain vitamins A, C, and K and minerals such as calcium and iron. Kale microgreens usually take 1-2 weeks to reach maturity. The market demand for kale microgreens has been consistently high, thanks to the growing popularity of kale as a superfood. 

#7. Cilantro

profitable microgreens

Cilantro microgreens have a strong and distinct flavor reminiscent of mature cilantro leaves. They are high in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and K. Cilantro microgreens typically take 1-2 weeks to reach the harvest stage. The demand for cilantro microgreens is steady, particularly among chefs and culinary enthusiasts who value its intense flavor. 

#8. Basil

profitable microgreens

Basil microgreens are sweet and aromatic, similar to mature basil leaves. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and K and essential oils with antimicrobial properties. Basil microgreens usually take around two weeks to reach maturity. 

The demand for basil microgreens is consistently high, especially in the culinary industry, where they are used as a flavoring agent. 

#9. Mustard Greens

profitable microgreens

Mustard greens microgreens have a bold and peppery flavor. Mustard greens microgreens typically take 1-2 weeks to grow. The demand for mustard greens microgreens has been growing steadily, especially among consumers looking for spicy and nutritious greens. 

#10. Amaranth

Amaranth microgreens have a mild and slightly sweet flavor. They contain vitamins A, C, and K and minerals such as calcium and iron. Amaranth microgreens usually take 1-2 weeks to reach the harvest stage. The demand for amaranth microgreens has increased due to their nutritional value and versatility in various dishes. 

#11. Chives

profitable microgreens

Chives are known for their mild onion-like flavor and are commonly used as a garnish or ingredient in various dishes. Chives are relatively easy to grow and have a short turnaround time. 

They are in demand by restaurants, specialty grocery stores, and individual consumers. With proper marketing and efficient production, chives can be profitable.

#12. Beet Greens

profitable microgreens

Beet greens are the beet plant’s edible leaves. They have a slightly earthy taste and are packed with nutrients. Beet greens are popular in salads, stir-fries, and smoothies. As more people become aware of the health benefits of beet greens, their demand is increasing. Growing beet greens as microgreens can be a profitable venture.

#13. Red Cabbage

profitable microgreens

Red cabbage microgreens have vibrant purple leaves and a mild cabbage flavor. They are rich in vitamins and minerals. Red cabbage microgreens are used in salads, sandwiches, and as a colorful garnish. 

The demand for red cabbage microgreens has been growing, especially in urban areas with health-conscious consumers, making them a potentially profitable crop.

#14. Celery

profitable microgreens

Celery microgreens have a concentrated celery flavor and often add a pinch of taste to salads, soups, and sandwiches. The demand for celery microgreens has increased due to their unique flavor profile and potential health benefits. 

However, celery microgreens require specific growing conditions, including darkness during the last few days of growth, which can impact profitability.

#15. Dill

profitable microgreens

Dill microgreens have a distinct tangy flavor reminiscent of fresh dill. They are commonly used as a garnish, in salads, or to flavor dishes. Dill microgreens are in demand by restaurants, specialty food stores, and individuals who appreciate their unique taste. Growing dill microgreens can be profitable if there is sufficient market demand.

#16. Fennel

profitable microgreens

Fennel microgreens have a licorice-like flavor and are used in salads, soups, and a garnish. They have gained popularity due to their distinctive taste and potential health benefits. Fennel microgreens can be profitable if you tap into the right market, such as high-end restaurants or gourmet food stores.

#17. Mizuna

profitable microgreens

Mizuna microgreens have a mild, peppery taste and are commonly used in Asian cuisine. They are popular in salads, stir-fries, and as a topping for sushi. Mizuna microgreens have gained attention for their unique flavor profile, and their demand is increasing. 

If you can target restaurants and markets that prefer Asian cuisine, growing Mizuna microgreens can be profitable.

#18. Swiss Chard

profitable microgreens

Swiss chard microgreens have vibrant-colored leaves and a mild, slightly earthy flavor. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, making them popular among health-conscious consumers. 

Swiss chard microgreens are used in salads, smoothies, and garnish. With their growing popularity, they can be profitable if you can establish a steady market.

#19. Wheatgrass

profitable microgreens

Wheatgrass microgreens are the young shoots of the wheat plant. They are popular for their high concentration of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll. Wheatgrass shots and juices are in demand at juice bars, health food stores, and wellness centers. 

Wheatgrass can be profitable if you can establish a consistent customer base in the health and wellness industry.

#20. Spinach

profitable microgreens

Spinach microgreens have a mild spinach flavor and are highly nutritious. They are used in salads, smoothies, and as an ingredient in various dishes. Spinach microgreens are popular among health-conscious consumers, vegans, and vegetarians. The demand for spinach microgreens is relatively high, making them a potentially profitable crop.

#21. Kohlrabi

profitable microgreens

Kohlrabi microgreens have a mild, sweet taste and a crunchy texture. They are used in salads, sandwiches, and as a garnish. Kohlrabi microgreens have gained popularity for their unique flavor and texture, making them a sought-after ingredient in the culinary world. 

Growing kohlrabi microgreens can be profitable if you can cater to restaurants and specialty food markets.

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Pros and Cons of Growing and Selling Microgreen Crops

Growing and selling microgreen crops can have several pros and cons. Here are some considerations:

Pros:

#1. High demand

Microgreens are increasingly popular in the culinary world due to their vibrant colors, intense flavors, and high nutritional value. There is a growing demand for microgreens in restaurants, farmers’ markets, and health-conscious consumers.

#2. Quick growth cycle

Microgreens have a short growth cycle, usually around 1-3 weeks, which means you can have multiple harvests in a relatively short period. This allows for a continuous supply and the potential for higher profits compared to traditional crops.

#3. Small space requirement

Microgreens can be grown in a small area, making them suitable for urban environments or limited land availability. They can be cultivated indoors, in greenhouses, or even on vertical farming systems, maximizing space utilization.

#4. Low startup costs

Compared to large-scale farming operations, starting a microgreen business requires minimal investment. The equipment needed is relatively affordable, and you can start with a small number of trays or containers.

#5. Versatile product

Microgreens offer a wide range of flavors, textures, and colors. This versatility allows you to cater to different customer preferences and culinary applications. They can be used as garnishes, salad toppings, or incorporated into various dishes.

Cons:

#1. Labor-intensive

Growing microgreens requires attention to detail and consistent care. The seeds must be sown, watered, monitored, and harvested at the right time. It can be a labor-intensive process, especially if you are planning to scale up production.

#2. Perishability

Microgreens have a short shelf life once harvested, typically lasting around 5-10 days. This means you must have a well-established distribution network and a consistent customer base to avoid excessive waste.

#3. Price Sensitivity

While microgreens can command a higher price per unit compared to traditional crops, they are also more expensive to produce. The delicate nature of microgreens and the intensive cultivation process can contribute to higher production costs, affecting profit margins.

#4. Seasonal variations

Although microgreens can be grown throughout the year, weather conditions can still impact their growth. Extreme temperatures, humidity, or lack of sunlight can affect the quality and yield of your crops.

#5. Market competition

The popularity of microgreens has led to increased competition among growers. Establishing a strong market presence and finding a niche can be challenging, particularly in areas where microgreen cultivation is already well-established.

Do You Need a License to Sell Microgreens?

Microgreens are an excellent addition to any meal or snack, with high nutritional value and quick growth. But for those interested in starting their own microgreen business: do you need a license to sell microgreens?

The quick answer is that it is location dependent. In the United States, different states and cities have varying regulations on selling microgreens. Some require a license, while others do not. It is important to research the specific laws in your area to ensure you are operating within the legal parameters.

You may need a vendor’s license if you sell your microgreens locally, such as at farmers’ markets or through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. This is typically a straightforward process that involves filling out an application and paying a fee.

Additional licenses and permits may be required if you plan on selling your microgreens to restaurants or grocery stores. These may include food handlers and business licenses. It is important to understand the regulations in your area to avoid any legal complications.

In addition to licensing, it is important to consider food safety when selling microgreens. As with any food product, it is essential to maintain cleanliness and follow proper handling and storage practices to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. 

Labeling your products is important, including information on the date of harvest, growing medium, and any potential allergens.

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Are Microgreens Business Profitable In Nigeria?

The agricultural industry is an evergreen sector with several untapped potentials in Nigeria. One such prospect that has been gaining much traction recently is microgreens. But, the big question on the minds of many is whether it’s profitable.

In Nigeria, the demand for fresh and healthy food is rising, making microgreens an excellent niche for agro-entrepreneurs to explore. With proper marketing and a solid business strategy, it’s easy to tap into this lucrative market.

Furthermore, the price of microgreens is higher than that of mature plants, mainly due to their quick turnaround time. This means that a small-scale farmer could earn significantly higher from a small plot of land, making it an excellent investment.

Additionally, the demand for microgreens has increased, with restaurants and hotels frequently sourcing them to add a unique and flavorful twist to their dishes. This demand offers entrepreneurs a ready-made market, giving a high probability of sales.

In conclusion, the microgreens business is profitable in Nigeria, with huge market potential and a solid demand base. The low cost of production and the high-profit margin is the perfect combination for budding agro-entrepreneurs. 

Risks and Challenges of Growing and Selling Microgreen Crops 

Growing and selling microgreen crops can be a rewarding business venture, but it also comes with its fair share of risks and challenges. Here are some potential risks and challenges to consider:

#1. Crop Failure

Microgreens are delicate plants that require precise growing conditions. Factors such as temperature, humidity, water quality, and disease control can significantly impact the success of your crop. Crop failure can occur due to environmental fluctuations, pests, diseases, or poor management practices.

#2. Market Demand and Competition

Before investing in microgreen cultivation, assessing the market demand and competition in your area is essential. The popularity of microgreens has increased in recent years, but the market can still be relatively niche. If there is limited demand or intense competition, it can be challenging to establish a profitable customer base.

#3. Shelf Life and Storage

Microgreens have a short shelf life, typically ranging from a few days to a week. Ensuring proper storage conditions, such as temperature and humidity control, is crucial to maintaining freshness and quality. If you cannot sell or use your microgreens quickly, you may experience losses.

#4. Food Safety and Sanitation

Microgreens are consumed raw, making food safety and sanitation critical. Maintaining a clean and hygienic growing environment, following proper handling practices, and implementing food safety protocols are essential to prevent contamination and ensure consumer safety. Failure to meet food safety standards can lead to legal and reputational consequences.

#5. Seasonal Variability

Microgreen production can be subject to seasonal variations depending on location and growing methods. Outdoor cultivation may be limited to specific seasons, while indoor cultivation requires managing artificial lighting and climate control. Adapting to seasonal changes and adjusting growing practices can be a challenge.

#6. Price Volatility

The pricing of microgreens can be subject to fluctuations influenced by factors such as market demand, supply, and seasonal availability. Understanding market trends and pricing dynamics is crucial to setting competitive prices while ensuring profitability. Unexpected price volatility can impact your revenue and profit margins.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are microgreens?

Microgreens are young, tender plants harvested after a few weeks of growth. They are often used as a garnish or ingredient in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.

Why are microgreens so profitable?

Microgreens are in high demand due to their unique flavors and nutritional benefits. Additionally, they are often sold at a premium price, making them a lucrative crop for small-scale growers.

How can I grow and sell microgreens?

To grow microgreens, you must invest in basic equipment, such as trays, soil, and grow lights. You can sell your microgreens to local restaurants, farmers’ markets, or directly to consumers online.

Conclusion

In conclusion, growing and selling microgreens can be a highly profitable venture in 2023. Basil, sunflower, pea shoots, kale, and radish microgreens have emerged as the most profitable crops due to their appealing flavors, nutritional benefits, and high market demand. 

Farmers who capitalize on these trends and cultivate these microgreens can expect significant returns on their investment while contributing to the growing demand for healthy and sustainable food options. 

With careful planning, proper cultivation techniques, and a focus on quality, microgreens farming can be a rewarding and profitable business opportunity in the coming year.

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