- BrightFarms has partnered with organic produce distributor Crosset Company to distribute its hydroponically grown, local baby greens to more than 100 independent Midwest retailers, according to a press release.
- The retailers are located near BrightFarms' newest greenhouse in Wilmington, Ohio. Retailers include Dorothy Lane Market in Dayton, Walt Churchills Market in Northwest Ohio and Kreiger’s Health Foods Market in Cleveland. The company began distributing to Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati earlier this year.
- BrightFarms founder and president Paul Lightfoot said in a statement that independent grocers offer significant growth potential because they serve a large demographic of consumers who care about food transparency.
The partnership with Crosset is helping the packaged salad company reach more Ohio shoppers and deepen its connection with independent grocers. BrightFarms already supplies its greens to independent grocers including Dierbergs Markets in St. Louis, Missouri and Tops Friendly Markets in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
According to Crosset's website, the company, which is headquartered in Independence, Kentucky, helps brands reach shoppers with fresher produce and simplifies the supply chain. Since Dorothy Lane, Kreiger's and Walt Churchills are in close proximity to its 120,000-square-feet facility in Wilmington, BrightFarms can deliver products at peak freshness and ensure the products qualify as local for grocers and their customers.
The greens could also be a sales driver for independents as customers often look to their neighborhood grocer to offer locally grown produce and food transparency rather than a traditional supermarket. The demand for locally grown produce has never been greater, with Packaged Facts estimating that local food sales will reach $20 billion this year.
BrightFarms' growth has been steady. In February, it said it would open three new greenhouse facilities in Massachusetts, New York and North Carolina in addition to its locations in Rochelle, Illinois; Culpeper County, Virginia; Bucks County, Pennsylvania and Wilmington. Last month, the company hired Steve Platt as its new CEO to help steer BrightFarms' national expansion.