Visitors to Seattle-area Kroger supermarkets next week will be able to walk out with fresh parsley, cilantro and other greens grown in the store with Infarm urban farming technology, the latest example of grocers bringing the farm right to their aisles.
Kroger’s deal with German startup Infarm includes two stores with plans for 13 more to come online by March of next year. It’s part of a broader push by the nation’s biggest traditional supermarket chain to improve sluggish sales by amping up its fresh-food offering, while also enhancing its environmental cred. The greens—including crystal lettuce and Nero Di Toscana kale—only need tending once or twice a week and will sell for no more than Kroger’s existing store-brand organic produce, according to Suzy Monford, Kroger’s group vice president of fresh.
“We’re removing touches in the supply chain, which is more economical and allows us to pass those savings along to customers,” Monford said in an interview. “We know that fresh food drives shopping trips and it’s a real differentiator.”