CINCINNATI and SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), America's largest grocery retailer, and Apeel Sciences, a 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 and Fast Company Most Innovative Company, today announced that Apeel's longer-lasting avocados will be available in more than 1,100 Kroger stores in the U.S.
Kroger will also introduce two new produce categories, Apeel asparagus and Apeel limes, through a pilot in its Cincinnati market this fall.
"Kroger is excited to offer more customers Apeel avocados and introduce longer-lasting limes and asparagus, marking another milestone on our journey to achieving our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste vision," said Frank Romero, Kroger's vice president of produce. "Apeel's innovative food-based solution has proven to extend the life of perishable produce, reducing food waste in transport, in our retail stores and in our customers' homes."
"Kroger is leading the way to alleviate the food waste crisis at every level, from its supply chain to its retail stores to the homes of over 11 million customers who shop at Kroger every day," said James Rogers, CEO of Apeel Sciences. "We're excited to expand our partnership with Kroger to further prevent food waste while simultaneously giving families more access and time to enjoy healthy fresh produce."
The Kroger expansion follows a pilot of Apeel avocados the retailer launched one year ago in 109 Midwest stores that significantly reduced category food waste. Apeel avocados, asparagus and limes maintain their just-harvested quality longer than produce without Apeel and are less reliant on refrigeration, reducing food waste and extending customers' access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
Kroger and Apeel's retail partnership focuses on tackling the country's increasingly urgent food-waste paradox. Today, 40 percent of the food produced is thrown away, yet 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger. Redirecting even one-third of this food would help feed everyone in need. Additionally, food waste contributes roughly 8% of annual greenhouse gas emissions and is considered a top cause of climate change.
Apeel's partnership with Kroger is expected to prevent millions of pieces of produce from ending up in a landfill every year, resulting in:
- Millions of avocados "rescued" from going to waste
- Dozens of acres of farmland preserved
- Emission reductions of thousands of metric tons in greenhouse gases
- Over a billion gallons of water use savings
- 100,000+ GJ of non-renewable energy reductions
ABOUT THE KROGER CO.
At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are nearly half a million associates who serve over 11 million customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,759 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, serving America through food inspiration and uplift, and creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about us, visit our newsroom and investor relations site.
ABOUT APEEL PRODUCE
Every plant on earth has a peel or skin that protects it. From oranges to apples to tomatoes and raspberries, the materials found in the skins, peels, and seeds of plants are ubiquitous and consumed in the human diet in high quantities every day. Apeel's plant-derived technology provides produce with a little extra "peel" that slows the rate of water loss and oxidation — the primary causes of spoilage. Apeel doubles to triples the shelf life of many types of produce, maintaining freshness and reducing food waste for everyone. For more information, see the Apeel FAQ.
ABOUT APEEL SCIENCES
Apeel Sciences is a company that's fighting the global food waste crisis by utilizing nature's tools to prevent waste in the first place — a sustainable approach to the world's growing food demands. The company's plant-derived technology helps USDA Organic Certified and conventional fresh food growers, suppliers, and retailers improve produce quality and extend shelf life, which minimizes food waste from the farm to the retail shelf to the kitchen table.
Apeel Sciences was founded in 2012 with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help reduce postharvest food loss in developing countries that lack access to refrigeration. Today, Apeel formulations have been proven effective at reducing the rate of spoilage for dozens of USDA Organic Certified and conventional produce categories, and the company works with partners ranging from smallholder farmers and local organic growers to the world's largest food brands and retailers.
Founded by CEO James Rogers, Ph.D., Apeel Sciences partners and investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Viking Global Investors, Upfront Ventures, S2G Ventures, Powerplant Ventures, DBL Partners, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Department for International Development, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The company is recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a Friend of Champions 12.3 and a 2018 & 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50.
SOURCE The Kroger Co.