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Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, FreshDirect step up distribution from AeroFarms

AeroFarms AeroFarms indoor vertical farm
Indoor vertical farmer pilots leafy green offerings with Walmart in Mid-Atlantic.

Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh and FreshDirect will be receiving a bigger distribution of leafy greens from indoor vertical farmer AeroFarms, which also has introduced its products at Walmart.

Newark, New Jersey-based AeroFarms said Thursday that it plans to double its product offering at Whole Foods and, for Amazon Fresh, has expanded from one to five distribution centers, increasing availability throughout the New York metropolitan area. Both Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh are part of Amazon.com Inc.

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AeroFarms said its leafy green products are ready-to-eat and don’t require washing.

Meanwhile, AeroFarms greens have become 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 said it’s piloting its products at selected Walmart stores in Virginia. The Walmart distribution comes after  AeroFarm’s ground-breaking last month for a 136,000-square-foot vertical farm in Danville, Virginia, which the company said will be the world’s largest indoor aeroponic indoor vertical farm when it goes into operation in mid-2022.

In addition, AeroFarms said it has teamed up with Bronx, New York-based fresh produce specialty foods wholesaler Baldor Specialty Foods on retail and foodservice distribution in the Northeast. The vertical farmer also partners with ShopRite in the region.

“Our company is committed to our long-term retail partners, and we are excited to expand our distribution and penetration with them,” David Rosenberg, co-founder and CEO of AeroFarms, said in a statement. “Our leafy greens are consistently praised for their quality, texture and flavor, and our customers connect with our brand because of our authentic and transparent approach to sustainable farming. We’re looking forward to giving our customers more choice and flavor options as we continue to scale the business and broaden our reach.”

A a Certified B Corporation, 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 noted that all of its leafy greens are grown indoors in New Jersey at one of its commercial indoor vertical farms, which are certified for USDA Good Agricultural Practices, SQF Level 2 Good Manufacturing Practices, Non-GMO Project Verification and OU Kosher. The company said its 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, providing more safety and convenience to customers. Earlier this month, the vertical farmer announced a rebranding of its Dream Greens retail brand to the AeroFarms label.

Several large U.S. grocery retailers have announced expanded 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.

supermarket news logoThis piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.

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