Meijer has partnered with hydroponic grower Revolution Farms to supply local lettuce and salad greens year-round to stores across its six-state Midwestern market area.
Plans call for Caledonia, Mich.-based Revolution Farms to provide a product line of cut, whole-leaf and whole-head lettuce varieties, as well as cut lettuce for all prepared salads, to all 262 Meijer stores, the retailer said yesterday.
With the rollout of Revolution Farms’ hydroponic-grown products, customers will have direct access to lettuce and salad greens that are fresher, more nutritious, last longer on the shelf and at home, and are grown using 90% less water and 90% less land, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer noted. The produce, too, is 95% closer to shoppers’ homes.
“Supporting local farms and carrying the freshest, most nutritious ingredients is important to us and to our customers,” Meijer produce buyer Sarah Jennings said in a statement. “As a Michigan, family company, we are committed to being good stewards of our community by not only constantly enhancing our own sustainable practices, but also by using our shelves as a platform to promote brands that share our passion.”
Meijer customers will find Revolution Farms products on shelves in the produce department. Whole-leaf lettuce varieties include Revolution Farms Lettuce Boats, Revolution Farms Whole Leaf Romaine and Revolution Farms Sweet Crisp Deli Leaf, while whole-head offerings include Revolution Farms Whole Head Living Bibb and Revolution Farms Whole Head Living Sweet Crisp items.
Also under the partnership, Meijer and Revolution Farms will localize and enhance ‘Fresh from Meijer’ salad kits available in the retailer’s ready-to-eat section. Meijer said Revolution Farms now grows all the lettuce for the kits. Varieties include Caesar, Cobb, Harvest, Southwest and BLT salad kits, with toppings and dressing ready to assemble and eat. Family sizes also are offered for the dinner table.
Revolution Farms noted that it packages its products on-site and distributes its non-GMO lettuce to Meijer within one or two days of harvest, ensuring its customers receive crispier, crunchier lettuce for more flavorful salads. The practice of harvesting daily ensures the longest possible shelf life and near-to-zero waste, the hydroponic farm added.
Located in West Michigan, Revolution Farms can grow up to 1.5 million pounds of fresh lettuce annually. That proximity, the company said, enables its produce to go from farm to plate in one to two days, less than half the time it takes for lettuce grown on the West Coast to be transported to the Midwest.
Meijer operates supercenters and grocery stores across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
“Food tastes better when it’s grown closer to you. Meijer is our hometown retail partner, so partnering with them to expand their local greens selection, as well as growing the lettuce for their salad kits, will help more families easily find sustainably-grown, nutrient-rich greens,” commented John Green, founder and CEO of Revolution Farms. “Our recent greenhouse expansion has given us the ability to grow even more lettuce varieties, as well as become a Meijer Fresh partner.”