Advanced Container Technologies, Inc (Ticker: ACTX), announced that GrowPods – innovative modular hydroponic farms – can give grocers the ability to grow and sell ultra-clean and fresh strawberries and leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, and micro-greens, from a self-contained unit that can be located as nearby as the store’s parking lot.
According to Grocery Dive, Meijer Stores are using modular hydroponic farms to provide its stores with cut, leaf and whole head lettuce as well as for the chain’s “Fresh from Meijer” ready-to-eat salad kits.
Progressive Grocer reports that the Kroger Co. “is taking farm-to-table to a whole new level” as it will provide customers with hydroponic produce right at the point of purchase.
And Green Biz said that the Publix grocery store chain is using modular hydroponic vertical farms as a way of “focusing on the customer experience.” The publication reports that “urban vertical farming has advanced to become a more mainstream part of the supply chain.”
At Publix, the 40-foot container hydroponic farm sits in the parking lot. Customers can see the equivalent of three acres of traditional farmland through the container’s windows. It grows about 720 heads of lettuce each week, all sold in the store.
Food Lion is also utilizing these innovative farms to bring fresh produce to its 303 stores. According to Produce Blue Book, this “validates the consumer’s growing awareness of the benefits of vertical farming, as well as the demand for locally-grown, fresh, high quality produce.”
According to Doug Heldoorn, CEO of Advanced Container Technologies, the time is right for all grocery stores to integrate vertical farming into their supply chains.
“Our modular hydroponic farms not only produce ultra-clean, vine-ripened strawberries and leafy greens, but also provides other sustainability benefits such as cutting freight emissions, lowering water usage and prolonging shelf life,” Heldoorn said. “Additionally, that experience of going into a grocer and essentially buying right off the vine is compelling from a customer experience standpoint.”