CINCINNATI — The Kroger Co. has committed to eliminating food waste across the company by 2025. As part of this effort, the grocery retailer will begin selling Apeel avocados in its Cincinnati market, with plans to expand to other cities. Developed by Apeel Sciences, the avocados stay fresher two to three times longer than conventional avocados because they have an extra, plant-based peel that slows the rate of water loss and oxidation.
“Apeel is an innovative partner that will help Kroger reduce food waste and redefine the customer experience through first-to-market technology,” said Frank Romero, Kroger’s vice-president of produce. “Kroger’s relationship with Apeel developed as a result of the exciting work we’re doing with start-ups and enterprising companies to create the future of retail now.”
As part of its sustainability initiative, Kroger recently announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags from its stores by 2025. The company said an estimated 100 billion single-use plastic bags are discarded in the United States every year, and less than 5% are recycled.
“Kroger is at the forefront of the fight against food waste, and we’re honored to be a resource in their journey to zero waste,” said James Rogers, chief executive officer and founder of Apeel. “Kroger’s commitment to families and the health of the environment is admirable, and together, we believe we can dramatically advance our shared goal of less waste and better-quality food for all.”
Apeel recently secured $70 million in new financing led by Viking Global Investors, a global hedge fund. The company plans to ramp up operations to meet increasing demand for programs across avocado, citrus, berry, stone fruit and asparagus categories.