• The Spoon reports that InFarm "is bringing its in-store vertical farming systems" to Empire-owned stores across Canada, including Sobeys, Thrifty Foods, and Safeway Canada.
The story says that "the partnership will launch this coming spring and put InFarms’s high-tech farm pods in stores across that country … With InFarm, that means growing those leafy greens and herbs inside the produce section of stores. The company’s indoor farms come in the form of enclosed pods that use the hydroponic grow method, meaning plant roots are submerged in a nutrient-enriched water supply and no soil is involved. Cloud-based software controls the temperature, watering schedule, and light and humidity levels of the farms, adjusting those elements based on plant type."
Among the benefits of the system, the story says, are the fact that "zero pesticides are used in the grow process, and greens can be harvested onsite, reducing carbon emissions since food doesn’t have to be transported to the store from a distribution center."
• CNBC writes that "Taco Bell will convert three of its traditional restaurants into Cantinas this year as part of a test to see if suburban consumers enjoy the more upscale locations as much as urbanites.
"The Yum Brands chain opened its first Cantina in 2015 as a way to appeal to customers who were spending their money on food from fast-casual chains and to build a footprint in urban areas with more expensive real estate. Now, the locations are a key building block in Taco Bell’s goal to become a $20 billion brand, and the chain is continuing to toy with the concept."
The story notes that Taco Bell "has opened more than 30 Cantinas in the United States. Its Las Vegas Cantina, which also serves as a wedding chapel for devoted fans, is the chain’s busiest location in the world. Taco Bell plans to open a Cantina in Times Square by this fall. The chain did not share which suburbs will convert traditional locations to Cantinas in the test."