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Aldi decides to grow herbs directly in their supermarkets

Aldi decides to grow herbs directly in their supermarkets

Aldi decides to grow herbs directly in their supermarkets

From the end of May, Supermarket chain Aldi Süd will grow herbs and salads directly in their supermarket branches in Frankfurt and Düsseldorf, allowing customers to watch as they grow. 

Collaboration with Infarm

Infarm is a start-up company in Berlin, whose business model consists of growing herbs and salads directly in supermarkets. As of yet, Germany is their largest market, and they have already made collaborations with some large supermarket chains such as Edeka and Metro. Now Aldi Süd will join the list as their newest client.

Currently, Aldi has agreed to incorporate this technique in five of their branches, but the plan is to add seven more by the end of the year. The herbs on offer will be basil, mint, chives, coriander and parsley.

How does it work?

In the supermarkets, this system works much as an actual greenhouse would, with herbs and salads growing in glass cabinets, under meticulously controlled LED lights. The roots of these herbs hang in a circulating nutrient solution which is precisely matched to the type of plant and its respective environmental conditions.

These tiny greenhouses have been developed to be so efficient that almost 8000 plants can grow in them each year. Usually, the system itself can regulate any problems or errors that may occur. Infarm has spent years developing a software that monitors the growth in the mini-farms and adjusts the temperature, light and pH value of the solution if necessary. 

However, an Infarm employee is always present in the supermarket to fix any issues the system can’t solve, and to harvest the herbs for the customer.

Aldi wants to move away from “cheap” image

While it might sound strange to hear that a brand known for offering cheap and discounted prices is investing in glass cabinets and expensive software, Aldi Süd has been attempting to modernise their image for a while now, focusing on a new, young target group “who values sustainable living, wants to eat healthy and protect the environment.”

Growing herbs on site have huge advantages for the environment as they reduce transport routes by around 90 percent and consumption of water by 95 percent due to the coordinated system that requires no soil. 

Naina Pottamkulam

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Naina Pottamkulam

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