Kroger expands access to indoor vertically-grown produce in the Midwest

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: 80 Acres Farms Kroger store display
Photo: 80 Acres Farms Kroger store display

Related tags Kroger vertical farming

Kroger is expanding its partnership with vertical indoor farming company, 80 Acres Farms, to provide fresh produce to more Midwest consumers.

Beginning March 15, 80 Acres Farms​ will serve 316 Kroger locations across Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, delivering its fresh produce grown from its indoor vertical farms.

Its latest indoor vertical farm in the Cincinnati area will support the Kroger 316-store partnership and bring 10 million fresh servings of produce (80 Acres grows salad blends, herbs, tomatoes, and cucumbers) to consumers throughout the Midwest. 

"Everyone deserves easy access to fresh, affordable, delicious food,"​ said Dan De La Rosa, Kroger's group vice president of fresh merchandising. "This newly expanded partnership means more communities will have just-picked produce at their fingertips 365 days a year."

The partnership also advances Kroger's Zero Hunger | Zero Waste​ ​initiative, which aims to address the global issue of food waste (according to Kroger, 40% of food produced goes to waste in the US) and the 53 million Americans who struggle with hunger.

Vertical indoor farming can be a part of the solution to both of these issues, claimed Mike Zelkind, CEO and co-founder of 80 Acres Farms.

"Consumers are looking for more nutrition from their diet and want to trust that their food is safe and chemical free, and it will last longer in their refrigerators. The 80 Acres Farms brand delivers against all those promises,​" said Zelkind.

According to 80 Acres, its farms (which utilize robotics to do the 'heavy lifting') are free-from pesticides, use 100% renewable energy, 97% less water, and can produce 300x more produce per acre than conventional field farming. 

80 Acres' business model has had a strong impact, according to the company, and has saved more than 366,527 miles driven by trucks, 204,175 lbs of food waste, and over 12 million gallons of water. 

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