The Kroger Co. has entered into a first-of-its-kind partnership in the U.S. to grow produce on site.
The nation’s largest grocery retailer will unveil “living produce” farms at two QFC (a Kroger banner) locations in the Seattle area (Bellevue and Kirkland) next week. The project, done in collaboration with Infarm, an urban farming network, will use hydroponic technology to grow lettuce, kale and other greens on site. The farms are expected to launch in 13 more QFC locations early next year.
By growing product on site, the farms remove the need for extended transportation and storage, producing a more eco-conscious product, Kroger said. The farms are designed to scale and will provide shoppers the freshest and most sustainable living produce options available, the company said.
"Our partnership with Infarm allows us to innovate by combining ground-breaking in-store farming technology with our passion for fresh, local produce and ecological sourcing,” said Suzy Monford, Kroger's group VP of fresh. “Kroger is excited to be first to market and offer the best of the season, and we're proud to lead the U.S. on this journey."
Founded in Germany in 2013, Infarm combines highly efficient vertical farms with IoT technologies and machine learning, to offer an alternative food system that is resilient, transparent, and affordable. Infarm has over 500 farms in stores and distribution centers around the world and has partnered with more than 25 major retailers in seven countries: Germany, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Denmark, the United Kingdom, and the United States.