As consumer demand for locally grown produce continues to rise, BrightFarms is pursuing growth of its customer base to additional stores and markets nationwide. Following a $55 million financing round last year, the greenhouse grower recently entered the St. Louis metro area through a new partnership with Dierbergs Markets and has also teamed up with Food Lion, Jungle Jim’s International Markets, Misfits Market and Tops Friendly Markets to further expand its reach in existing markets.
Offering a variety of packaged salads and fresh herbs, Irvington, N.Y.-based BrightFarms uses sustainable hydroponic greenhouses to supply consumers with year-round local produce. The company’s items, such as Sunny Crunch and Fresh Kick lettuce varieties, are now available at Dierbergs in the St. Louis market, sourced from the BrightFarms greenhouse in Rochelle, Ill.
BrightFarms’ partnership with Jungle Jim’s serves as an expansion of the company’s reach in the Ohio market, while its new partnership with Tops will enhance its customer base throughout New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont, serving more than 140 Tops stores. Salad greens for both retailers will be sourced from BrightFarms’ greenhouse in Wilmington, Ohio.
“We feel that BrightFarms is a great complement to our offerings,” said Jeff Cady, director of produce and floral for Tops, in a statement. “Tops customers demand the freshest and best produce possible, and BrightFarms delivers that day in and day out. They’re ‘local’ without being local, if you will. We are truly excited to be partnering with a company that is innovative, driven and looking to brighten the future of our planet.”
The proximity of BrightFarms’ greenhouses to retail stores ensures the delivery of fresh produce within 24 hours of harvest, while simultaneously reducing energy use and costs because the company’s hydroponic greenhouses use 80% less water, 90% less land and 90% less shipping fuel compared with long-distance growers. The company’s products are also pesticide-free and are certified non-GMO.
In addition, the company’s greenhouse located in Culpeper, Va., will supply Food Lion stores in Richmond, Va., and Lynchburg, Va., which are located two hours away.
BrightFarms also teamed up with Misfits Market, a delivery box service that ships imperfect produce to consumers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Although the company’s greenhouse-grown produce is designed to provide items consistent in quality and appearance, the company plans to supply excess yields from its Bucks County, Pa., greenhouse to support Misfits Market’s mission to reduce food waste, according to a statement.
In addition to these new partners, other retailers carrying BrightFarms’ salad greens nationwide include Walmart, Ahold-Delhaize and Albertsons.