North America’s largest grocery chain, Kroger, announces a partnership with Apeel Sciences, a 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 and Fast Company Most Innovative Company, to distribute Apeel’s longer-lasting avocados in over 1,100 Kroger stores in the U.S.
As we reported, Apeel Sciences secured $70 million of financing led by Viking Global Investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Upfront Ventures, and S2G Ventures, plus participation from other investors, in September 2018. The company produces a plant-based edible skin which improves the shelf life of fruit and vegetables.
Kroger will also introduce two new produce categories, Apeel asparagus and Apeel limes, through a pilot in its Cincinnati market this fall. Apeel’s partnership with Kroger is projected to save millions of food items from going to 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
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, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“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 and Apeel’s retail partnership focuses on tackling the country’s increasingly urgent food-waste paradox. Food waste contributes roughly 8% of annual greenhouse gas emissions and is considered a top cause of climate change.
“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.”