The company is also introducing its new, longer-lasting limes and asparagus, claiming to double or even triple shelf life.
Apeel Sciences has figured out how to extend the salad days of fruits and vegetables -- and it's bringing the technology to the avocado aisle of 1,100 Kroger grocery stores in the US, starting this month.
The extra longevity comes from Apeel's special, plant-derived formulation that's applied -- like a second skin -- to a variety of produce. The process can double or, in some cases, triple shelf life. The companies expect the partnership to prevent millions of avocados annually from ending up in landfills.
Kroger, the largest grocery retailer in the US, began selling Apeel avocados exclusively in 109 of its stores earlier this year. Because of the resulting reduction in waste, Apeel says its avocados cost the same or less than other avocados. The company's produce is currently distributed by AWG, the largest food wholesaler to independently owned supermarkets, and is also sold in Costco and Harps Food Stores.
Apeel has applied for 17 patents, so far, in support of its essential innovation: the development of a secondary peel that restricts water and carbon dioxide from escaping from plants -- and oxygen from coming in. "We build an optimized microclimate in each piece of produce," Apeel CEO James Rogers told me.
A video posted in March compares the lifespans of Apeel fruits and vegetables -- including asparagus, green beans, artichokes, tomatoes, strawberries, apples, bananas and limes -- with that of their untreated counterparts. "It doesn't make a piece of fruit any better," Rogers said. "It just slows it down from getting worse."