Department store giant Target, which recently collaborated with the MIT Media Lab and design firm Ideo to launch the Food + Future CoLab, is planning to install a few in-store vertical farms next year to see how involved customers actually want to be with their food. During the trials, people could potentially harvest their own produce from the vertical farms, or just watch as staff members pick greens and veggies to stock on the shelves.
“Down the road, it’s something where potentially part of our food supply that we have on our shelves is stuff that we’ve grown ourselves,” Casey Carl, Target’s chief strategy and innovation officer, says.
Food currently represents $20 billion of business for the company, he adds. As such, anticipating and shaping the future of food is essential to the company’s growth. “We need to be able to see more effectively around corners in terms of where is the overall food and agriculture industries going domestically and globally.”