Mission Produce has partnered with Hazel Technologies in announcing the launch of AvoLast by Hazel, a shelf-life extension program that keeps avocados at an optimal level of ripeness for three extra days on average. Mission Produce is the world’s most advanced avocado network.
The AvoLast program uses a quarter-sized biodegradable and food-safe Hazel packaging insert that temporarily blocks an avocado’s ethylene receptors and slows the ripening process. With more shelf-life, the consumer reaps the benefits of a longer timeframe to enjoy an avocado with ideal freshness, quality and taste. What’s more, by increasing the shelf-life of both hard and ripe Hass avocados, retailers can reduce throwaways, in turn increasing profit while creating more positive consumer experiences that drive category growth.
AvoLast helps prevent waste
AvoLast is being introduced at an especially critical time for consumers: in today’s environment of social distancing, food insecurities are heightened and many shoppers are making fewer visits to the grocery store, so the ability to purchase ripe avocados with confidence that they will last longer is significant.
“As consumer trips to the grocery store decrease, AvoLast is the perfect solution to support avocados on the shelf. With AvoLast, retailers can continue or enhance their avocado ripening programs without compromising customer experience due to overripe fruit,” said Mission Produce Senior Director of Business Development Patrick Cortes. “After testing the solution in various environments throughout our supply chain, the AvoLast program extended the shelf-life of ripe fruit by an average of three days. Partnering with Hazel Technologies on this application demonstrates one of many ways Mission continues to invest in innovation and provide value to our customers.”
Alongside its consumer benefits, AvoLast will significantly reduce global food waste, a profound environmental, ethical and financial threat. In the United States alone, about 30 percent of all food that is harvested is thrown away, often because of early spoilage. Furthermore, growing produce requires a great deal of resources including water and energy. This means that every time a piece of food is thrown away, these resources go to waste.
“According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, over 80 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year in the U.S. – an absolutely staggering and tragic figure,” said Hazel Technologies CEO Aidan Mouat. “Our AvoLast partnership with Mission allows us to deliver a longer lasting product that reduces waste not just in terms of the actual food, but also in the water used to grow that food and the fuel used to ship it. The impact ripples back through the supply chain.”
AvoLast uses technology exclusively developed by Hazel Technologies, a USDA-funded agricultural technology company aimed at reducing food waste and increasing the efficiency of produce supply chains. The two companies first announced a partnership in 2019 after a successful pilot phase. Expanding that partnership across Mission’s global supply chain was made easy due to Hazel’s drop-in solution which minimizes any operational impact.
The technology behind AvoLast was recently recognized by Fast Company magazine as one of its “World Changing Ideas” for 2020, and its positive benefits have been studied and tested by many of the country’s top agricultural research programs including UC Davis, Cornell University and Oregon State University.
Oxnard, California-based Mission Produce owns and operates state-of-the-art avocado packing facilities in multiple growing locations including California, Mexico, Peru and Colombia, and it also sources product from countries such as Chile, New Zealand and Guatemala. In addition, Mission Produce’s global distribution network includes 11 forward distribution centers in North America, China and Europe. Over the past 35 years, Mission Produce has become recognized as the leader in the worldwide avocado business.