The new Whole Foods Market in Manhattan features the latest mini-farm technology from Farm.One. It features an in-store vertical farm with freshly grown blue spice basil, which is directly used in the store's kitchen. When shoppers enter the store, they are welcomed by the fresh fragrance of basil, which grows in a three-level deep water culture hydroponic system. Because of the vertical space, it can grow 150 plants and the Whole Foods staff can harvest daily with minimal training, supervision, and maintenance from Farm.One.
Technology, like the vertical farm, meets today’s shopper demands in various ways. The fragrance of fresh basil and seeing the basil grow 'in real life' increases shopper's experience. At the same time, it reimagines openness and transparency - from harvesting to preparation in Whole Foods' kitchen, the whole process happens in-store. The vertical farm is a real conversation-starter and encourages shoppers to learn more about products' origin in a fun way. Because the products are processed in the in-store kitchen, it connects the world of retail and restaurants innovatively.
The Farm.One is not the first company connecting vertical farms to retailers. Marks & Spencer collaborated with Infarm’s technology to bring various leafy greens to shoppers through in-store vertical farms. Albertsons explored the concept on a much larger scale with Plenty, a massive vertical farm that produces year-round using only a fraction of water and land compared to traditional farms. Is vertical farming here to stay?
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