NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bowery Farming, the Modern Farming Company, today announced that its fresh, traceable Protected Produce is now available in more than 650 U.S. stores — marking a rapid increase from 100 stores in January. With this expansion, Bowery becomes the largest vertical farming company in the U.S. as consumers are hungry for flavorful, local, and sustainable food.
Bowery’s brick and mortar presence in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast includes Whole Foods Market, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Walmart, Weis Markets, and a number of specialty grocers. The company’s expansion has catalyzed more than 600% in-store sales growth since the beginning of this year and it has more than doubled sales with e-commerce partners.
Growing a New Generation of Greens
Located near the cities they serve, Bowery’s indoor farms use technology to create a simplified, agile food system focused on flavor, freshness and safety — farming efficiently to feed locally. At the core of its farms is the BoweryOS, its proprietary operating system, which uses sensors, vision systems, machine learning and automation technology to monitor and control all variables contributing to crop growth. By applying proprietary machine learning algorithms to environmental data, the BoweryOS determines the ideal recipe for each crop and makes automatic adjustments to conditions, such as temperature, humidity, airflow, light intensity, and nutrients to optimize crop quality, health, yield, and flavor, giving the plants exactly what they need, when they need it. Every farm benefits from the collective knowledge of the BoweryOS, making the entire network stronger with each new farm built.
As a result of the BoweryOS and the other systems built by Bowery, its farms are more than 100 times more productive on the same footprint of land than traditional agriculture, use a fraction of the water, and grow traceable, pesticide-free produce. Bowery’s greens and herbs (such as Arugula, Crispy Leaf, Basil and Butterhead) grow in completely controlled environments year-round, at least two times quicker than in a field — completely independent of weather and seasonality. Bowery produce is harvested at the peak of quality and taste, and is available on shelf within just a few days.
“Climate events continue to disrupt the way food is grown and distributed, and the pandemic exacerbated the vulnerabilities in our already fragile food system. We need a more resilient solution focused on the future, and that’s exactly what we’re building at Bowery,” says Irving Fain, Founder & CEO of Bowery Farming. “Our growth has been driven by consumer demand for safer and more transparently grown produce, and our ability to provide a consistent and reliable supply to our retail partners. We’re incredibly fortunate to have a dynamic team at Bowery that is relentlessly committed to innovation, strengthening our food system, and increasing access to fresh, healthy food.”
Cultivating Bowery Farming Talent
As the company continues to grow, it welcomes its first-ever Chief Supply Chain Officer, Colin Nelson, who will oversee Bowery’s end-to-end operations, from seed to store. A mechanical engineer by training, Nelson has spent the past 30 years of his career in supply chain management and operations at major multinationals, including Unilever and GlaxoSmithKline. Nelson most recently served as Senior Vice President and Global Chief Supply Chain Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance, where he led supply chain management of retail and wholesale pharmaceuticals and front-end retail.
“I’m impressed by what Bowery is building and how the company is applying innovative technology and human ingenuity to strengthen our food system and help feed a growing urban population in an economically sustainable way,” said Colin Nelson, Chief Supply Chain Officer of Bowery Farming. “I am looking forward to working closely with the incredibly passionate, purpose-driven team to further expand the business and deliver excellent economics through supply chain and operational efficiencies at Bowery.”
Nelson is the most recent among a series of strategic hires for Bowery, which also includes Carmela Cugini, Chief Revenue Officer (formerly Head of Merchandising & Curation at Jet.com and VP and General Manager of Walmart’s US e-commerce team) and Katie Seawell, Chief Marketing Officer (formerly SVP of Product and Marketing for Starbucks). The company has also added two new members to its Board of Directors: Sally Genster Robling (former EVP of Pinnacle Foods and founding President of the $1.1B Birds Eye Division) and Michael Lynton (Chairman of Snap Inc., and former Chairman and Chief Executive of Sony Pictures Entertainment).
“Bowery Farming’s best-in-class approach and application of software, robotics, automation, and AI has proven that local, smart farming at scale can be a reliable and more sustainable model for the future of agriculture,” said Hans Tung, Managing Partner at GGV Capital. “Solving for our global food challenge requires us to think differently about how we can address a number of issues — from climate events and biodiversity, to population growth and public health — and Bowery’s multidisciplinary, technology-driven approach makes this possible.”
As consumers continue to seek healthy, safe, and sustainable food brands, Bowery expects more growth ahead. Already, indoor farming brands are outpacing conventional packaged salad in the grocery store by more than 25% compared to last year, according to IRI. And as online grocery shopping increases in popularity, Bowery is providing consumers with more options with e-commerce retailers, including Peapod and Amazon Fresh.
About Bowery Farming
Bowery Farming, the Modern Farming Company, was founded in 2015 with the belief that technology and human ingenuity can grow better food for a better future. By building smart indoor farms close to the cities they serve, Bowery creates the optimal conditions to cultivate wildly flavorful Protected Produce that’s available on shelf just a few days after harvest.
Its proprietary software system, the BoweryOS, uses sensors, vision systems, automation technology, robotics, and machine learning to monitor plants and all the variables that drive their growth 24/7. Because Bowery controls the entire process from seed to store, farms grow produce year-round, ensuring a safer supply of food that’s reliable and consistent.
The farms are 100 times more productive on the same footprint of land than traditional agriculture, and grow traceable pesticide-free produce — the purest, best expression of what produce is meant to be — with a fraction of the water.
Bowery currently has three farms: a commercial farm and R&D Center of Excellence in Kearny, New Jersey and a commercial farm in Nottingham, Maryland. The company serves more than 650 stores in the Tri-State area and Mid-Atlantic region, including Whole Foods Market, Giant Food, Stop & Shop, Weis, Walmart, and specialty grocers, along with online partners, such as Amazon Fresh, Hungryroot, and Peapod.
Based in New York City, the company has raised over $172.5 million from leading investors, including Temasek, GV (formerly Google Ventures), General Catalyst, GGV Capital, First Round Capital, Henry Kravis, Jeff Wilke, and Dara Khosrowshahi, as well as some of the foremost thought leaders in food, including Tom Colicchio, José Andres, and David Barber of Blue Hill.
For more information on Bowery and its products, please visit www.BoweryFarming.com