Two QFC locations in Bellevue and Kirkland will soon have miniature hydroponic farms that will grow produce on site, removing the need for transportation and storage.
Parent company Kroger will eventually expand the farms to 15 QFC stores.
Kroger is partnering with Infarm, a company based in Berlin, Germany, which this year raised a $100 million series B funding round.
Kroger says the partnership is the first-of-its-kind in the United States. It is part of Kroger’s Zero Hunger/Zero Waste social impact plan that aims to end hunger and eliminate waste across the company by 2025.
Grocers across the U.S. sell $60 billion worth of produce annually, according to the Food Marketing Institute Power of Produce report, but sales grew less than 2% last year. The report notes that produce sales generate hefty profits for grocers, but younger shoppers are buying less fresh produce.
The Kroger experiment is an attempt to reverse that trend.