Tonico cafe in Kochi has been the talk of the town for its pasta cooked in a pesto sauce prepared with hydroponically grown basil and mint leaves. Driven by green eating and sustainability, it is amongst the many restaurants that are turning towards hydroponic setups within their premises.

The consumption of dishes like Italian, Continental, and Asian has increased. Some customers have turned vegan and prefer mostly greens, contributing to the increase in need of a setup that can cater to these needs: Sriram Gopal, owner of a supplying firm.

According to Som Kumar, co-founder of Aquahyd, before the pandemic, food was treated like a luxury that satisfied your gut, but now the focus has shifted to 'you are what you eat.' Over the last two years, he has installed numerous hydroponic systems in India and overseas. "We have installed 70 hydroponic setups in Delhi-NCR, both domestic and commercial. We've already completed 11 installations for restaurants, with three more in the pipeline," shares Som.

Talking about the change, Tony Jose, Founder, and CEO of Tonico Cafe, explains, "The current setup with 48 plants takes minimal space, and it is portable too. It has also helped cut down some costs otherwise spent on sourcing. Our footfall has increased with many positive reviews."

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