New product containing sorrel was developed with support from retailer’s Accelerator Programme to boost product innovation

Vertically farmed salads such as the new launch from Unbeleafable have a longer shelf life

Vertically farmed salads such as the new launch from Unbeleafable have a longer shelf life

The Unbeleafable brand from vertical farm GrowUp has added a third bagged salad to its range at Tesco.

Unbeleafable Zesty Baby Leaves includes sorrel, as well as a mix of “sweet and crispy” green baby leaves and “mild and earthy” red baby leaves. It will be available for £1.50 in the salad aisle of selected Tesco stores.

The brand says the product will last longer than conventionally produced bagged salads since the leaves are grown in a controlled environment at GrowUp’s vertical farm in Kent. In a vertical farm these is no need for pesticides or chlorine washing, processes which GrowUp says degrade the quality of the leaves.

The product was developed with support from Tesco’s Accelerator Programme, to speed up product innovation and growth. The Unbealeafable is one of 27 brands involved in the innovation initiative, which replaced the Tesco Incubator Programme in February.

GrowUp founder Kate Hofman said: “We taste-tested a few different varieties of leaves and the sorrel leaf was overwhelmingly popular because of its tangy, citrusy flavours, which really pack a powerful, flavoursome punch.

“With the Unbeleafable range, we pride ourselves on having created ready-to-eat salads that taste better, are fresher and crisper, and last longer than any other prepped salad.

“The zesty leaves will be the only bagged salad on the market with such a unique mix of zingy sorrel, sweet green and earthy red lettuce leaves, which add a burst of colour.”

The Unbeleafable collection was the first range of salads to be launched by a vertical farm in the UK. The salads are grown, harvested and packed all year round at the GrowUp vertical farm in Kent.

The site is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy, using electricity and low-grade heat from the bioenergy plant next door.

The farm is currently expanding and when it reaches its full potential, everything produced on site will be grown using 94 per cent less water than conventionally produced bagged salads.

GrowUp says it wants to play a “key role” in “making the food system in the country more resilient and taking early steps towards ending the country’s reliance on overseas imports”.

Currently, the UK imports 67 per cent of the salad consumed each year. This rises to 90 per cent in winter.

The producer also believes its vertically farmed salads can help to reduce food waste, which is a major problem in bagged salads. Research conducted by Unbeleafable found that 98 per cent of consumers say they throw away bagged salad, with 39 per cent saying they do this most or all the time.

The Unbeleafable range also includes:

  • Mixed baby leaves 90g – a mild salad, containing a mix of green baby lettuce and red baby lettuce (RRP £1.50)
  • Rocket and baby leaves 90g – a stronger flavour, containing a mix of green baby lettuce, red baby lettuce and rocket (RRP £1.50)