The success story of root ball (hydroponic) lettuce grown indoors on water channels goes back to 2006, when Staay introduced ‘Salatrio’, one head of lettuce with three colours. Since then, root ball lettuce has become a staple in the shops. In 2013, Staay Food Group received the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award for its cultivation concept. The hydroponic product range has now been expanded to include Teenleaf loose lettuce leaves.

Salatrio. Freshly picked mixed lettuce
The most popular hydroponic root ball lettuce is Salatrio: a mixed head of lettuce on one root ball. The head of lettuce created in this process is composed of Lollo Rossa, Lollo Bionda and oak leaf lettuce. With its 3 colours, this trio lettuce is a true eye-catcher on the shelves.

Hydroponic lettuce offers a host of advantages over ordinary heads of lettuce:

  • Stays fresh longer thanks to the attached root ball
  • Available year-round from local greenhouse cultivation
  • Convenient to use: pick the amount of lettuce needed from the head and store the rest
  • Highly efficient thanks to:
    • smaller cultivation area
    • greenhouse climate control with hot and cold water sources
    • up to 90% less water consumption thanks to recycling
    • very little plant protection product required
    • low waste thanks to easy harvesting including the root ball

Depending on the season, the heads weigh between 150 – 250 grams, excluding the root ball. The heads are available with or without a root ball.

Product range

  • Salatrio mixed lettuce
  • Butterhead/cabbage lettuce
  • Lollo Rossa
  • Lollo Bionda

And on request:

  • Salanova green multi-leaf lettuce
  • Salanova red multi-leaf lettuce
  • Salanova butterhead/cabbage multi-leaf lettuce
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Oak leaf lettuce



Origin Origin

  • The Netherlands

Availability Availabilty

  • Year-round


  • Yes

Frequently asked questions

What is hydroponic cultivation?

Hydroponics is a system to grow crops more efficiently without soil. In this system, plant roots grow in water with a nutrient solution or in moist materials, such as mineral wool.

What are the advantages of root ball lettuce?

Thanks to the root ball, it stays fresh for longer. Plus, you can cut or pluck off what you need and keep the rest for a while. So less waste!

What is Salatrio?

Salatrio, trio or tricoloured lettuce is a mixed lettuce bouquet of three different lettuce varieties in one head with root ball. Usually these are Lollo Rossa, Lollo Bionda and Oak Leaf.

What is Salanova?

Salanova is a so-called multi-leaf lettuce. This means that a Salanova head of lettuce contains up to four times more leaves than an ordinary head of lettuce. In addition, the leaves are almost the same size and shape, making the distinctive heart of the head of lettuce very small so you can use the whole head. Moreover, with one cut, the whole head disintegrates. A Salanova lettuce has a compact and full head. Salanova varieties include butter lettuce, oak leaf, lollo rossa/biona and batavia lettuce.

What is vertical farming?

Vertical farming (or city farming) is vertical LED-lit indoor cultivation. By taking advantage of height, a large crop can be planted in a small surface area. The crop can then be cultivated very efficiently and largely automated. This allows local fresh produce to be grown anywhere in the world. Lettuce is grown in LED-lit climate chambers with conditions ideal for the lettuce.

Related news


Staay Food Group joins the SIFAV 2025

The Staay Food Group is expecting its first watermelons to arrive in the Netherlands in roughly week 7. This year, this melon specialist is again fully focusing on the seedless varieties

Read more

Staay Food Group increases transparency.

On 1 October, Staay Food Group joined AgriPlace, the compliance platform for safe and sustainable supply chain management. This represents another step for the company in ensuring quality, reliability and food safety even...

Read more