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Subway in Japan Goes "Hyperlocal," Grows Hydroponic Lettuce

The Subway "Vegetable Factory"
The Subway "Vegetable Factory"
Photo: InventorSpot

The Independent has a trend-piece on "hyperlocal" restaurants, in which they grow their own produce. It's "set to be the next big thing"! They even cite a trend-spotting website's post about how a London grocer selling organic produce grown on their roof as proof! Growing your own is not an entirely new trend — American restaurants like Blue Hill at Stone Barns have been on that train for quite some time now — but it's so fashionable now that even corporations are co-opting it: Enter a Subway sandwich shop in Japan that grows hydroponic lettuce. Which means no more pre-sliced lettuce from a bag, right?

Unfortunately it's just a nod to the trend for now. Not only does it provide a mere 5% of the store's daily needs — 20 heads of lettuce a week! — there's even a bonus surcharge for the in-store lettuce. While that's certainly not going to make that big of a difference, the chain is testing out additional "super-fresh vegetable ingredient options" at their Yasai (vegetable) Lab, and perhaps Japanese Subways will start to see bigger moves towards sustainability in coming years.

Video: Japanese Subway Grows Hydroponic Lettuce

· 'Hyperlocal’ The Latest Trend as Restaurants Grow Their Own [Independent]
· Subway Sandwich Japan Says 'Eat Fresher' With Lettuce Grown In The Store [InventorSpot]
· Grocer launches rooftop garden for hyperlocal produce [Springwise]
· All Subway coverage on Eater National [-E-]