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Albertsons shifting its produce paradigm

plentyAlbertsons Cos. and vertical-farming company Plenty Unlimited Inc. announced an agreement that plans to provide shoppers in more than 430 stores across California with Plenty’s fresh and flavorful produce.

“We pride ourselves on offering fresh, quality products that surprise and delight our customers,” said Geoff White, executive vice president of merchandising. “Plenty’s data-driven and sustainable methods are truly innovative, and we look forward to bringing their unique and exciting products to more customers in California as they scale their operations.”

Plenty’s sustainable indoor vertical farm delivers produce all year long. The operation leverages data analytics, machine learning and customized lighting to maximize taste, while a combination of wind and solar provides 100 percent of the farm’s energy. The current Plenty farm can grow 1 million plants at a time and process 200 plants per minute, and is designed to use less than 1 percent of land and 5 percent of water compared to traditional farming.

“Albertsons Cos. is leading the industry by creating a new partnership model to deliver customers the intensely flavorful and fresh produce of the Plenty farm,” said Matt Barnard, CEO of Plenty. “This is an important milestone for the Plenty team, and we look forward to bringing Albertsons Cos. customers the best-tasting and cleanest greens they’ve ever eaten.”

Plenty is currently available in select Safeway and Andronicos locations in the Bay Area, with plans to expand to additional Albertsons Cos. stores in California — including Albertsons, Vons, and Pavilions — as supply increases.

The partnership between Albertsons Cos. and Plenty has proven capable of meeting the evolving needs of the consumer — regardless of events that can impact the supply chain. When demand soared at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Albertsons Cos. merchandising team asked suppliers, including Plenty, to help ensure its shoppers would have uninterrupted access to quality fresh produce. Plenty responded by ramping up production at its indoor vertical farm to bring more products to market, despite the global food chain disruption.

Stores plan to carry four Plenty products initially:

  • Baby Arugula - A bold baby arugula with spice and subtle hints of summer citrus and black pepper.
  • Baby Kale - A velvety-soft baby kale highlighted by bright notes and a smooth finish.
  • Crispy Lettuce - A crispy leaf delivering the fresh, clean crunch people crave with a versatility deserving of the most creative ideas.
  • Mizuna Mix - A crunchy, colorful mix of tatsoi and mizuna that brings a mustardy heat to the table.
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