SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Food technology company Apeel and UK grocery giant Asda have seen success through an ongoing partnership in store locations across the UK that has successfully reduced yearover-year in-store food waste in the citrus and avocado categories, compared to control stores. Asda locations offering Apeel-protected produce saw a 36% decrease in citrus waste and 10% decrease in avocado waste, when compared to control stores.
Asda and Apeel’s partnership began in 2019 with the success of a small trial where Apeel-protected produce was offered in a limited number of stores. This led to an expansion of the program to 150 stores across the UK. Not only is this helping Asda to achieve its goal of reducing food waste by 20% by 2025 but is also positively impacting customer sentiment towards Asda’s sustainability goals. Seventy percent of shoppers agreed that Apeel made them “believe Asda cares about reducing food waste” and 57% agree that Apeel “makes (them) believe Asda is a champion for sustainability”.
The introduction of Apeel’s plant-based protection, an edible, plant-based coating that extends the shelf-life of fresh fruits and vegetables by keeping moisture in and oxygen out, also allowed for an extended window of fresh on shelf and in the home. This shelf-life extension coincided with a +6% sales increase in oranges when comparing Apeel vs. control stores.
“ASDA has a commitment to be net zero by 2040. Through Apeel and other food waste reducing initiatives, that can really help in terms of our carbon footprint,” said Karen Todd Senior Manager Sustainability Team ASDA.
In taking further efforts to meet its reduction target, Asda has removed the best-before dates on almost 250 fruit and vegetable products, giving grocers the power to decide what produce is right for them to consume. Many people are unaware that food waste contributes to 8-10% of climate emissions per year, and it’s an issue that exists on every level of the food supply chain from growers to consumers.
Not only does wasted produce contribute to emissions, but it also takes money out of people’s pockets. According to WRAP, a leading climate action NGO, the average UK family throws away £60 worth of food and drink each month.
“In an environment where inflation is a huge problem, more bang for your buck is important,” said Camille Hanna,
Regional Director of Sales for Apeel. “ASDA is able to give their consumers more time with the fruits and vegetables that they buy, so they’re wasting less.”
Through Apeel’s plant-based protection, quality and freshness becomes a guarantee. With a longer shelf life, Apeel-protected produce allows consumers to better plan and grocery shop for the week’s meals, and stock up with confidence that they’ll be able to enjoy what they buy, saving time and money for consumers amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.
“As we roll forward with Apeel, you know, I wouldn’t want the product to be exclusive to us,” said Mike Snell, Managing Director IPL for Asda. “They should be making it with everybody. If the technology’s that good, and there’s no reason to believe it isn’t, then it could be applied on everything. And then you’d save, I mean, billions of tons of plastic.”
Asda and Apeel’s partnership was acknowledged as a finalist in the category of Most Sustainable Retailer Initiative of the Year at the 2022 Retail Industry Awards.
Apeel is on a mission to create a more sustainable global food system by working with nature to use the power of materials and data sciences. Apeel’s plant-based protection allows for longer-lasting produce by using materials already found in the skins, peels, and seeds of all fruits and vegetables. This protective extra “peel” slows the water loss and oxidation that causes produce to spoil, and it’s the only proven solution for maintaining freshness from farm to kitchen. Apeel’s plant-based protection is available for an ever-growing number of categories and markets, including organic and conventionally grown produce. Additionally, Apeel is integrating new tools that will allow the food system to do more with the extra time created by Apeel’s plant-based protection. Farmers can sell more of what they grow, retailers can sell more of what they source, and people can enjoy more of what they buy, creating a healthier planet and greater abundance for all. Apeel is Food Gone Good.
Apeel and Food Gone Good are trademarks/registered trademarks of Apeel Technology, Inc. in the United States, the European Union, and other jurisdictions. To learn more, visit apeel.com.
ABOUT ASDA STORES LTD.
Founded in the 1960s in Yorkshire, Asda is one of Britain’s leading retailers and helps customers save money and live better in stores, online and through their mobile devices. Each week more than 18 million customers visit its 645 stores – including 30 Supercentres, 392 Superstores, 155 Supermarkets, 33 Asda Living stores, and 35 standalone petrol stations – and are served by over 140,000 colleagues. www.asda.com and www.george.com deliver to 99% of the UK’s homes and to its 538 click and collect sites across the UK. Its main office is in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division is in Lutterworth, Leicestershire. Asda was acquired by the Issa Brothers and TDR Capital Ltd in 2021, returning the supermarket to British ownership.