Under 20,000 LED lamps, salad greens and herbs are now growing at a height of 14 floors in a 7000 square metre hall in Taastrup, just outside Copenhagen, where around 1000 tonnes of vegetables will be produced annually for Danish consumers. There are also plans to expand with more production facilities in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Measured in efficiency and yield per square metre, Nordic Harvest is the world’s largest vertical farm.
The vision behind Nordic Harvest is to give consumers more choice in relation to truly sustainable food production, without having to compromise on quality, taste or price. Nordic Harvest is powered by certified wind power, does not use pesticides or fertilisers, and emits nothing into the environment – everything is recirculated.
The opening of Nordic Harvest was the culmination of a years-long journey that Kudos has been a part of from the very start. We have helped to package and fine-tune the vision into a strong presentation that would appeal to potential investors.
At the start of 2020, the investors were finally in place. A sum of DKK 62 million was raised and Nordic Harvest could become a reality. From there, the project accelerated, and over the next six months, messages, identity and communication strategy had to be built up in relation to wholesalers and consumers. In collaboration with Nordic Harvest’s technology partner YesHealth, press efforts were also coordinated in relation to international media. What's more, a visual identity, brand new website and new packaging design had to be created. Here we partnered with Granyon, our strong partner in digital and visual design. We also collaborated with Voxmeter on target group surveys.
In order to manage the visionary narrative about Nordic Harvest and create some buzz, we worked with a few select media companies, including Zetland in the run-up to the announcement of the investment phase. The investment was then communicated as business news and finally, once the farm was completed in December 2020, we invited the rest of the media inside.
The opening of Nordic Harvest was picked up by national broadcast news, including a long feature on DR TV News, TV 2 News and TV 2 Lorry, and several major articles appeared in both the national media and specialist media covering agriculture, technology and food. In total, there were 130 articles on Nordic Harvest between August 2020 and January 2021.
At the same time, the news about one of the world’s largest farms went international, with well over 100 news media outlets producing lengthy articles, videos and more related to the opening, including Reuters, AFP, Le Monde, France24, Wallpaper, FastCompany and others.
At home, where the products will initially be tested with consumers, we have specific Voxmeter measurements of how far we have moved over the course of just six months. In August 2020, we conducted an initial analysis of consumers and their attitude towards vertical farms; we then repeated the four key questions in January 2021:
From it being an unknown brand, four percent of people were familiar with Nordic Harvest in January 2021. In comparison, InFarm – which has had vertical mini-farms in Irma for a year – has a stable familiarity at two percent.
Awareness of vertical farming as a concept has grown from 20 to 29 percent. For those familiar with the concept, the proportion of those who want to buy products from a vertical farm has increased from 71 to 76 percent.
Among those who are unfamiliar with the concept of vertical farming, the proportion of those who find it interesting and would like to try it has increased from 23 to 28 percent. At the same time, the shares of doubters, opponents and those who are nervous about their health have all declined.
In short, we’ve been on a fantastic journey. And we’re just getting started.