Northeast Produce

Wakefern, Apeel Bring Longer Lasting Produce To Supermarket Shelves

Wakefern Apeel limes

Keasbey, New Jersey-based Wakefern Food Corp., the largest retailer-owned supermarket cooperative in the U.S., and Apeel, with its sustainable approach to keeping produce fresh longer, have announced that Apeel’s longer-lasting limes will debut this month at stores across Wakefern’s banner brands, including ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market stores. Apeel says its produce stays fresher up to three times longer than other fruits and vegetables and dramatically reduces food waste.

Derived from plants, Apeel’s edible coating can double to triple the shelf life of fresh produce by slowing the rate of water loss and oxidation – the main factors that lead to spoilage. Made of materials found in the peels, seeds and pulp of fruits and vegetables, Apeel’s coating helps maintain just-harvested quality, flavor and freshness longer than produce without Apeel. Longer-lasting produce saves shoppers money and time – important conveniences as people today are preparing more meals at home.

“We’ve always been committed to providing our shoppers with the freshest produce available and are excited to work with Apeel to offer a better, longer lasting lime at a great value. At the same time, we’re continually exploring new ways to improve the sustainability of the foods we source, so that our shoppers can feel good knowing that the fruits and vegetables they enjoy also help reduce waste and are better for the environment,” said Bryant Harris, Wakefern’s chief merchandising officer.

Wakefern’s banner supermarkets will carry Apeel limes loose and in two-pound bags and organic Apeel limes in one-pound bags. Wakefern expects to introduce additional Apeel produce such as avocados in the coming months.

Apeel estimates that its work with Wakefern can prevent up to 1.4 million limes from going to waste each year. With less food waste, more natural resources are conserved.
“We’re excited to work with Wakefern to bring Apeel limes to their stores,” said Jason De Turris, VP of brand and marketing at Apeel. “Apeel limes mean less wasted food, which is more sustainable for everyone, and more time to enjoy them at home when they’re freshest.”

Apeel has been named a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and one of  CNBC’s 2020 Disruptor 50 companies for using technology rooted in nature. Apeel’s plant-derived coating slows the lime’s rate of water loss and supports the fruit’s natural abilities to protect against environmental stressors. Fresh produce not only looks and tastes better, but also contains a higher density of nutrients and is less likely to be wasted.

Shoppers will find more information about Apeel limes in-store and at ShopRite.com. ShopRite’s registered dietitians are available for more information in-store and will also host a Facebook Live cooking event on July 15 to demonstrate how to make Grilled Foil Packet Tomato Mussels incorporating Apeel limes.

Founded in 1946, Wakefern comprises 50 members who today independently own and operate 362 supermarkets under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market and Gourmet Garage banners in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Together with its member companies, Wakefern employs nearly 80,000 people, and is one of the largest employers in New Jersey.

Apeel 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.

Wakefern also recently joined with Solutions for Retail Brands (S4RB) to provide new information-sharing software for Wakefern and its own brand vendors.  See story, here.

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