Hydroponics innovator, wholesaler and manufacturer, HydroGarden, is launching a reformulation of one of its leading brands, the VitaLink? Plant Nutrition range, following two years of development work supported by the University of Wolverhampton and funding from the European Regional Development Fund.
Having been first developed over ten years ago, VitaLink? has brought UK sales worth nearly ?5m for HydroGarden to date and is set to bring projected sales of ?10m during the next ten years.
As part of its business strategy to broaden the brand?s horizons and open up new markets including export markets, HydroGarden decided to revisit VitaLink?s? original formula to find out what improvements could be made to deliver optimum plant health and maximum yield for both commercial and domestic growers.
The company approached the University of Wolverhampton because of its lead role in the Knowledge Exchange & Enterprise Network (KEEN) and subsequently secured funding for a recently graduated PhD student from the University of Birmingham to work as a full-time development chemist at the firm?s headquarters in Binley, near Coventry.
HydroGarden director, StuartGreen, explains:
?Having decided that a thorough review of VitaLink? was a priority we looked at how we could generate the resources it would require.? One of our directors had heard about the KEEN initiative, and, being aware of Coventry University?s strengths in Chemistry in particular, we decided to approach them to find out if having one of their affiliates join us, would be the solution.
?The end result is a comprehensive reformulation of the VitaLink? range, and the creation of a superior series of nutrient solutions including new lines to address specific issues.? Together they offer growers working at any scale, cost-effective solutions for significant plant health problem areas, which can subsequently impact on each crop?s output, quality and growing time.?
The VitaLink range is split into three core areas covering nutrients (5 products), additives (10 products) and growing media (4 products).? Eight new products have been added to the range to make a total of 19 individual lines, each fulfilling a specific function to deliver optimum plant health and maximum yield for both commercial and domestic growers.
Newly appointed brand manager, Richie MacDonald, added:
?A huge amount of work has gone into the reformulation and rebranding of the VitaLink? range to make it stand out from the competition by delivering great results as well as shelf appeal.
?We?re very excited about the new bottle design.? It was really well received by retailers when it was revealed for the first time at Home Grown Expo 2015, and we are expecting a lot of new interest over the coming months as distribution gets underway.?
The new additions include Silicon MAX (RRP ?6.00) to produce thicker roots and disease resistance, CalMag (RRP ?8.10), a calcium and magnesium supplement, RootStim (?11.20) to stimulate stronger and longer roots and root hairs, PK (RRP ?4.80), a highly concentrated phosphorus and potassium additive, Hydrate (RRP ?24.00), to help protect plants against drought conditions, Chill (RRP ?24.00) and Heat (RRP ?24.00), which help plants to thrive in hot and cold conditions respectively, and Finale (RRP ?6.00), which helps the plant to ripen more evenly to produce a maximum yield.
The VitaLink? range is intrinsic to the current success of HydroGarden?s new vertical hydroponic farming system ? VydroFarm ? which is being used in trials at the University of Nottingham?s ?Creative Energy Homes Project? research facility to investigate new concepts for energy efficient and food secure future living.? The nutrient is used to reduce the growing time of salad crops, such as lettuces, from 80 days using traditional farming methods to only 28 in VydroFarm?s full-controllable environmental system which gives optimum lighting conditions via Valoya LED lights.
To find out more about the new VitaLink? range visit www.hydrogarden.com and see www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvTKruaWsGM