Indoor vertical farming company AeroFarms is making good on its pledge to expand its core commercial business and scale production. The Certified B Corporation’s market-leading microgreens now enjoy expanded availability at retail with H Mart, the leading Asian supermarket chain in the United States, and 100-year-old NYC produce wholesaler/distributor S. Katzman Produce.
“We are always looking for new products that will help our customers grow,” said Stefanie Katzman, Executive Vice President at S. Katzman Produce. “We see a lot of potential with the microgreens category and are impressed by the ingenuity that AeroFarms has demonstrated through its growing process, marketing approach and flavorful, high-quality product. By launching with AeroFarms, we plan to get consumers even more excited about microgreens and help our retail customers grow their produce departments.”
The retail expansion is positive news for the company amid ongoing recapitalization efforts following a June 8 filing for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Subsequent filings requested court approval for company asset sales as operations continue at its Danville, Virginia commercial farm.
Along with expansion news, AeroFarms announced Josh Ballard has been hired as plant manager for the Danville farm — now the company’s production focus — to support continued retail growth and microgreens category expansion. Ballard comes to the company with Lean Six Sigma expertise and a three-decade track record of operating experience, leadership and management with companies including Conagra Brands, AppHarvest, Impossible Foods and Miyoko’s Creamery.
“AeroFarms is recognized everywhere for its unique varieties and prized flavor, and we are excited to partner with fellow leading companies known for their innovation and produce expertise like S. Katzman Produce and H Mart,” said Guy Blanchard, President & Chief Financial Officer of AeroFarms. “As we expand our commercial production to profitably meet customer demand, we are investing in key team members like our new plant manager in Danville, Virginia, Josh Ballard, in order to service more of our customers across the country.”
According to syndicated Nielsen data for the last 52 weeks, week ending July 15, AeroFarms is the fastest-growing packaged salad greens brand by revenue at retail in the United States for key companies with at least $5 million in annual sales, with over 200% year-on-year revenue change versus 41% for the CEA (Controlled Environment Agriculture) space, 8% for Organic, and only 4% for Conventional packaged salads.*
AeroFarms microgreens can be found now at approximately 2,000 U.S. locations, including national retail expansion through Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh and The Fresh Market, as well as regional expansion through Ahold Delhaize, Harris Teeter, H-E-B and Walmart.
Images courtesy of AeroFarms: Danville commercial farming operations, plant manager Josh Ballard.
*Source – NielsenIQ Retail Measurement Total US eXtended All Outlet Combined Latest 52 Wks – week ending 07/15/23 for key companies with at least $5 million in annual sales. CEA = Bowery, BrightFarms, Gotham Greens, Little Leaf Farms, Local Bounti / Pete’s Living, Revol Farms, 80 Acres Farms; Organic = Earthbound Farms, Organic Girl; Conventional = Dole, Fresh Express, Taylor Farms.