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.
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.”
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).