More than 350 Stop & Shop supermarkets this fall will begin offering leafy greens from indoor vertical farming company AeroFarms.
The Quincy, Mass.-based retailer, with stores across the Northeast and New England, is the latest grocer to partner with AeroFarms, the Newark,N.J.-based Certified B Corporation that safely grows its produce indoors in its state-of-the art commercial vertical farming facilities that are certified for USDA Good Agricultural Practices. Other retailers working with AeroFarms include Walmart, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh and online retailer FreshDirect.
“Customers have fallen in love with our award-winning greens,” said David Rosenberg, co-founder and CEO of AeroFarms. “We are excited to be able to expand our distribution with a great partner like Stop & Shop to offer our high-quality produce all year round at consistent pricing and availability, and we can help grow the entire category of leafy greens and drive consumption with our sustainably grown produce that is ultimately winning on taste.”
According to the company, AeroFarms grows its leafy greens using proprietary aeroponics and indoor vertical-farming technology. The company said its model yields annual productivity up to 390 times greater than traditional field farming and uses up to 95% less water and zero pesticides, in turn providing optimal quality, color, nutrition, texture and taste for its produce.
AeroFarms’ 10 leafy green products — including micro arugula, broccoli, kale, rainbow mix, spicy mix and super mix plus baby arugula, bok choy, kale and watercress — are ready-to-eat and don’t require washing, the company said, providing more safety and convenience to customers. The vertical farmer also recently announced a rebranding of its Dream Greens retail brand to the AeroFarms label.
In May, AeroFarms greens were made available for same-day delivery through online grocer FreshDirect’s Express service, following an expansion from one to three distribution centers. And in the Mid-Atlantic region, AeroFarms began piloting its products at selected Walmart stores in Virginia. The Walmart distribution comes after AeroFarms’ ground-breaking in April for a 136,000-square-foot vertical farm in Danville, Va., which the company said will be the world’s largest indoor aeroponic indoor vertical farm when it goes into operation in mid-2022.
As concerns about sustainability and local sourcing have grown, more U.S. grocery retailers have aexpanded vertically farmed produce offerings at stores this year, including Albertsons Cos. with Bowery Farming in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic; The Kroger Co. with 80 Acres Farms in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky; and Giant Eagle with Fifth Season in Pennsylvania and Ohio.