Retailers test growing produce in store

Date : 21 January 2019

Stores in Italy and France are installing ‘greenhouses’ to grow products.

Auchan is trialling the installation of a greenhouse in store

Auchan has partnered with Agricooltur in its Auchan vle Giulio Cesare in Turin, to grow fresh herbs and salads in store, allowing customers to harvest their own. The greenhouse was installed at the end of November 2018 and is being tested in store.  

Source: IGD Research

The greenhouse is about thirty square meters and is in the market area of the store.  The plants are grown in a greenhouse in Carignano, Turin and are then moved to the Auchan in-store greenhouse for sale. Herbs are grown in aeroponics and the customer can select their own plant. Other vegetables are also grown within the greenhouse.

Vertical farming units in place in Casino and Edeka stores

In France, Casino installed a small greenhouse device designed by Infarm, a German start-up company.  The device was installed in November and first harvest is expected this month, although customers can’t choose their own herbs, they are harvested by staff and then transferred to shelf.

Source: IGD Research

Edeka has also been trialling growing plants in store, using the same Infarm technology at their store in Oberhausen.  There are plans for further trials in Paris, Zurich and London in 2019.

A growing trend

These small scale initiatives signify a trend towards techniques that move growing and production closer to consumers. At scale, this will dramatically alter the economics of production but could help address several challenges, including the drive for freshness and sustainability through more effective use of land. 59% of respondents to our Supply Chains for Growth survey think there will be significant investment in urban/vertical agriculture facilities to supply fresh food with lower distribution costs.