Albertsons Embracing Indoor Vertical Farms
Albertsons Cos. will now carry fresh and flavorful produce from vertical-farming company Plenty Unlimited in more than 430 stores across California. Plenty's farming operation leverages data analytics, machine learning and customized lighting to maximize taste, while a combination of wind and solar power provides 100% of the farm’s energy.
Its flagship farm in South San Francisco delivers produce year-round, can grow 1 million plants at a time and can process 200 plants per minute. Plenty's hydroponic system is also designed to use less than 1% of land and 5% of water compared with traditional farming.
“We pride ourselves on offering fresh, quality products that surprise and delight our customers,” said Geoff White, EVP of merchandising. “Plenty’s data-driven and sustainable methods are truly innovative, and we look forward to bringing their unique and exciting products to more customers in California as they scale their operations.”
Albertsons will carry four products initially:
Baby Arugula: A bold baby arugula with spice and subtle hints of summer citrus and black pepper
Baby Kale: A velvety-soft baby kale highlighted by bright notes and a smooth finish
Crispy Lettuce: A crispy leaf delivering the fresh, clean crunch people crave, with a versatility deserving of the most creative ideas
Mizuna Mix: A crunchy, colorful mix of tatsoi and mizuna that brings a mustardy heat to the table
The greens are already available in select Safeway and Andronico's locations in the Bay Area, with plans to expand to additional Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions banners as supply increases.
“Albertsons Cos. is leading the industry by creating a new partnership model to deliver customers the intensely flavorful and fresh produce of the Plenty farm,” said Matt Barnard, CEO of Plenty. “This is an important milestone for the Plenty team, and we look forward to bringing Albertsons Cos. customers the best-tasting and cleanest greens they’ve ever eaten.”
Albertsons operates 2,252 retail stores, along with 1,726 pharmacies, 402 associated fuel centers, 23 dedicated distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities. The Boise, Idaho-based company’s stores predominantly operate under the banners Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street and Haggen. Albertsons is No. 8 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.