John Lewis plans to launch ‘pick-your-own’ vegetable patches in stores

While we may be more used to picking up salad in a bag at our local supermarkets, that could all be about to change.

The Telegraph has reported that we could soon be seeing vertical vegetable growing cylinders in supermarkets and shops across the UK, with John Lewis & Partners thought to be leading the way.

The publication has revealed that the brand is currently in talks with the bioengineering firm LettsUs Grow, with alleged plans to grow vegetables in their stores for customers to pick themselves.

Presumably, these will most likely feature in their partner store Waitrose.

With the vertical veg cylinders, shoppers will be able to pick out their own veg as though it was coming from the ground itself.

The cylinders are portable and soil-free, and work well in urban environments such as shops. Like herbs already in some supermarkets, they are kept fresh with a ‘nutrient-rich’ mist, while the roots are lodged firmly inside the cylinder. So it really will be like you’re gathering your own veg straight from the ground!

Co-founder of LettsUs Grow Jack Farmer revealed that the process could make shopping a much nicer experience for customers.

He told BBC’s Farming Today, “I think it really stems from the way people see the retail experience going in the future, with the rise of Amazon and other online retailers, the retail experience has to become much more experiential.”

Jack went on to say that with the cylinders, “You really re-engage with the food system and the provenance of our food.”

He also hinted that the veg-growing machines could be in stores as soon as this year, saying, “Watch this space for 2019 but if not 2019 then 2020 looks exciting as well”.

Picking your own veg would certainly make for a lovely shopping experience, so we can’t wait to see what happens! We’ll definitely be keeping our eyes peeled…

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