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Kroger Offers Vertical-Farmed Produce to More Shoppers in Midwest, Southeast

Supplier 80 Acres Farms enables grocer to offer fresh, nutritious produce while advancing sustainable growing practices
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms grows pesticide-free produce — including salad blends, herbs and tomatoes — entirely indoors, using fewer natural resources.

The Kroger Co. and 80 Acres Farms, a global vertical-farming company, are working together to bring fresh, clean produce to more households.

80 Acres Farms has been a supplier to Kroger since 2019, starting with a single store in the national grocer's hometown city of Cincinnati and growing to more than 300 stores across Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky in 2021. It now plans to serve about 1,000 Kroger stores across the Midwest and Southeast.

[Read more: “SPECIAL REPORT: The Greener Grocer”]

Kroger is bringing 80 Acres Farms' fresh produce to new geographies like Michigan, Tennessee and Georgia in early 2023 and will continue into the Mid-Atlantic and Delta regions in the fall. Soon, 80 Acres Farms will supply Kroger customers with products beyond the company's existing salad blends, including grab-and-go fresh meals.

"At Kroger, we believe everyone deserves access to fresh, delicious food," said Dan De La Rosa, the grocer's group VP of fresh merchandising. "80 Acres' unique approach and technology enables us to offer fresh, nutritious produce to our customers while advancing sustainable growing practices. Together, we'll expand the reach of these long-lasting and great-tasting 80 Acres Farms items year-round."

80 Acres Farms grows pesticide-free produce — including salad blends, herbs and tomatoes — entirely indoors, using fewer natural resources. Currently, the company operates production farms in Ohio and Kentucky, as well as research facilities in Arkansas and The Netherlands. The company's newest farm in Florence, Ky., began operations in December 2022 and will supply approximately 40 million servings of produce annually. 80 Acres Farms is preparing to open another next-generation farm in Georgia, with more locations on the way.

"Retailers have long been attracted to indoor farming because of its potential to supply fresh, healthy and great-tasting produce in a more environmentally sustainable and resilient manner," said Mike Zelkind, co-founder and CEO of Hamilton, Ohio-based 80 Acres Farms. "Kroger recognizes the importance of vertical farming in our nation's future food supply chain, and the value we deliver by offering differentiated products that customers love."

Serving more than 11 million customers daily through a digital shopping experience and retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 4 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer's 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company to its Retailers of the Century list.

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