Target to Add Vertical Farming to Some Locations
- by Laura Hillen
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Target is about to shake up the retail realm with its latest plan to put a focus on fresh produce and tap on in consumer penchant for fruits and vegetables. Target will be installing vertical farms in some of its locations.
“Food is a big part of our current portfolio today at Target—it does $20 billion of business for us,” continued Casey Carl, Target’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer to Business Insider. “We need to be able to see more effectively around corners in terms of where is the overall food and agriculture industries going domestically and globally.”
Target’s new focus on fresh will reportedly help the retailer gauge just how consumers want their produce, and how engaged they want to be with their food. Target’s Food + Future CoLab allows the company to do just that; shape the future of food, and deliver on the needs of consumers.
The Food + Future CoLab team announced at the White House that food grown from its in-store garden would be on sale starting in the spring, according to Business Insider. The initial in-store trials could also potentially see consumers picking their own produce from the Target farms.
“Down the road, it’s something where potentially part of our food supply that we have on our shelves is stuff that we’ve grown ourselves,” continued Carl.
The Food + Future CoLab was launched by the retailer in January in collaboration with Idea and the MIT Media Lab. This new research partnership is also allowing Target to pursue even further innovations, like taking vertical farming to new metaphorical heights.
“Because it's MIT, they have access to some of these seed banks around the world,” Greg Shewmaker, Entrepeneur-In-Residence, Food + Future CoLab, stated. “So we're playing with ancient varietals of different things, like tomatoes that haven’t been grown in over a century, different kinds of peppers, things like that, just to see if it's possible.”
The Target farms will use artificial lights and hydroponics to grow its produce. Daily Meal elaborated that while Target’s vertical farms will initially focus on leafy greens, the retailer is exploring growing potatos, beetroot, and zucchini for its next varieties.
As Target and its Food + Future CoLab move towards this new retail strategy, AndNowUKnow will continue to update you in the latest developments and its impact on the buy-side sector.