Retailers looking to bolster their locally grown produce are looking upward as indoor vertical farming AeroFarms extends its presence further in big box retailers and regional grocers nationwide.
On Tuesday the Certified B Corporation announced its expanded retail availability at both Walmart and Stop & Shop across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, including an increased presence at the Ahold Delhaize USA stores by more than 35%, the company said in a statement.
AeroFarms last Thursday filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware, citing “significant industry and capital market headwinds." Company CEO and co-founder David Rosenberg stepped down from his role, with CFO Guy Blanchard taking over the top post.
"While the vertical farming industry has recently faced significant industry and capital market headwinds, AeroFarms’ critical Danville, Virginia, farm continues to scale according to plan, and AeroFarms microgreens have become the dominant market leader at retail," the company said in a statement.
The company announced it has also entered into an agreement with an existing group of AeroFarms investors to provide $10 million in debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing, as part of a larger round of financing that includes those investors.
The New Jersey-based company grows greens and other produce year-round at indoor grow facilities without the use of pesticides. The company also said it uses up to 95% less water compared to traditional farming methods.
“AeroFarms is excited to bring our flavorful and nutritious microgreens to even more consumers,” said AeroFarms cofounder and CMO Marc Oshima. “We are proud to offer a unique flavor lineup and continue to expand our retail presence to meet the growing demand of our consumers.”
The increased availability in these retailers comes after AeroFarms went nationwide at Amazon Fresh stores last month.
“AeroFarms is excited to continue to scale our national availability with Amazon Fresh to meet the growing consumer demand for our fresh, flavorful and delicious microgreens,” Rosenberg said at the time.
Other grocery retailers that carry AeroFarms include Harris Teeter, H-E-B, Whole Foods Market and others.
AeroFarms isn’t the only player in the growing vertical farms sector. Earlier this year, Walmart became an investor in a $400 million Series E funding round for Plenty, an indoor farming company based in San Francisco that last month opened a high-tech indoor farm in Compton, California.