German retailers EDEKA and its subsidiary Netto Marken-Discount are to offer Apeel coated fresh produce in more than 11,000 stores across Germany, the company said in a statement.
The retailer also plans to add more products with the innovative coating developed by the US-based company, Apeel Sciences.
The plant-based coating prolongs the shelf life of fruit and vegetables by slowing down water loss and reducing the penetration of oxygen.
'A New Milestone'
“With the nationwide introduction of Apeel in our stores, we are reaching a new milestone in our goal of gradually reducing food waste and the use of plastic packaging," said Markus Mosa, CEO of EDEKA AG.
"We are also helping our customers to make an active contribution themselves so that valuable food in the household does not end up in the dustbin".
Pilot Project Highlights
The decision follows a successful pilot project with EDEKA and Netto Marken-Discount introducing Apeel coated avocados in around 2,900 selected stores in the first half of 2020.
The study compared figures such as the rate of consumption as well as sales volume and turnover values with the figures of a comparable control group without Apeel products over a period of twelve weeks.
The results showed that the number of avocados that were no longer saleable reduced by around 50% and the sales of avocados increased by 20%.
In addition, avocados treated with Apeel proved to be superior in quality, ripening time and longer overall shelf life.
'Era Of Sustainability'
CEO of Apeel, James Rogers, commented, ”When we use nature's solutions to combat food waste, everyone benefits: retailers, customers and the environment. Apeel's success in reducing food waste shows that we are entering an era of sustainability, in which companies are also contributing to saving our planet through environmental policy decisions.
“Reducing food waste not only serves to improve results in the retail sector but is also an effective contribution against climate change.”
Around twelve million tonnes of food, or the equivalent of 75 kilograms per person, end up in the dustbin every year in Germany, EDEKA said, quoting data from Thünen Institute.
Besides, GfK data has revealed that more than half of the food waste occurs in private households with fruit and vegetables accounting for 34% of the total.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.