- Giant Food has debuted produce boxes for the summer in partnership with more than 20 farms in Maryland, Virginia and Delaware, the Mid-Atlantic grocer announced on Tuesday.
- The Local Produce Boxes, which cost $20 each and are available through the grocer's Giant Delivers e-commerce service, will contain six or more in-season items that will vary weekly. Shoppers don’t need a subscription or commitment to ordering a set number of boxes.
- The produce boxes tie into Giant Food’s efforts to boost food traceability and transparency, along with making locally sourced food more accessible.
The debut of the local produce boxes fits into the larger trend of grocers increasingly turning their focus to growing local supplier relationships. Spotlighting locally sourced products can help grocers differentiate their selections and appeal to specific consumer values.
With this new program, Giant Food is working with more than 20 local farms, including Vincent Farms in Delaware, Kirby Farms in Virginia and Shlagel Farms in Maryland. The grocer said in its first Better Neighbor report, which was released in May, that it aims to partner with more than 20 new farms in Maryland and more than 70 in Virginia this year.
Shoppers looking to buy the Giant Food produce boxes can check the grocer’s website to view a calendar of local produce seasonality, the press release said.
In recent months, grocers including Hy-Vee, Schnuck Markets, Kroger and Meijer have rolled out initiatives to develop relationships with local brands and suppliers. Meanwhile, regional grocers like Boston-based Roche Bros. Markets, New York-based Fairway Markets and Arizona-based Bashas' have teamed up with Forager, an online and mobile platform that links grocers with local suppliers.
In support of its food traceability efforts, Giant Food uses HowGood's rating system of environmental and social impacts of ingredients to give products sustainability badges and also has product filters that include sustainability attributes. The Giant Company, another banner under Ahold Delhaize, teamed up with HowGood at the start of this year.