Call them salad kits or grab-and-go meals. The trend is gaining traction among CEA companies, and we’re here for it. Vertical farming company 80 Acres Farms has announced its first foray into the ready-to-eat, salad kit category. Starting this month, consumers will be able to find the company’s grab-and-go offerings at more than 200 locations in Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee.
“Busy consumers are looking for convenience,” said Leah Vanwoerkom, 80 Acres VP of Marketing & Brand. “They’re also more dialed into health and wellness than ever before — reading nutrition labels and seeking out clean, wholesome products made without fillers or artificial preservatives. The right product didn’t exist in the ready-to-eat salad category, so we decided to create it.”
In the spirit of good nutrition and clever marketing, the company is launching three curated kits:
- Feelin’ Gouda, with red and green leaf lettuces, gouda cheese, apple chips, dried cherries, sea salt pecans and a poppy seed vinaigrette
- Rockin’ Ranchero, with crispy leaf lettuce, white cheddar cheese, black beans, crunchy corn, pickled onions and a smoky chipotle dressing
- Greekin’ Out, with red and green leaf lettuces, feta cheese, marinated artichokes, pickled beets, garlic croutons and a Mediterranean-inspired dressing
Unlike some recent CEA entries into the salad-kit market, the three initial 80 Acres offerings skip the meat for what appear to be some pretty tantalizing meat-free combos.
“We’ve put a lot of time and work into making sure that everything in these kits is as fresh, healthy, and clean as our pesticide-free greens,” says 80 Acres Farms CEO and co-founder Mike Zelkind. “We’re elevating the convenience and grab-and-go experience by providing the highest quality ingredients at the right price for our growing national consumer base.”
The Hamilton, Ohio-based company’s salad-kit launch is in full swing at Heinen’s Grocery Store in Chicago and Cleveland, Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton, Jungle Jim’s International Market and Pipkin’s Market in Cincinnati, The Turnip Truck in Nashville, and Cincinnati- and Columbus-area Kroger stores. In coming weeks, consumers can find the kits on shelves at Heine Brothers Coffee shops in Louisville, the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, and other locations across the Midwest and the Mid-South.
This news comes as 80 Acres Farms prepares to officially open its latest facility, a 200,000-square-foot farm in Boone County, Kentucky, with a production capacity of 40 million servings of produce per year. The company also operates several production farms in southwestern Ohio, plus R&D facilities in Arkansas, North Carolina and the Netherlands. Next up is another 200,000-square-foot farm being built in Covington, Georgia — located just outside Atlanta.
Images courtesy of 80 Acres Farms