When a major U.S. retailer noticed produce sales slipping, it talked with its customers to find out why. The problem? Guilt over food waste. In other words, shoppers felt sorry for throwing out fresh fruits and vegetables they had purchased that were now in their home refrigerators and had spoiled before they had a chance to eat them.
As a result, the retailer saw a decrease in produce purchases, especially some of the most profitable yet perishable items such as berries and mushrooms. There’s hard data to back up U.S. consumer’s concern over food waste. According to Eco Pulse, a survey released in 2012 by the Knoxville, TN-headquartered Shelton Group, 39 percent of Americans felt guilty over wasting food.
Now, thanks to technology built into a newly-patented device called BerryBreeze, consumers can buy more produce because it will stay fresh two to three times longer. What’s more, it does so in a way that is completely safe, chemical-free and operates in accordance with the USDA National Organic Standards. Makers of this novel appliance hope to make it conveniently available in produce departments throughout America and the world.
BerryBreeze employs activated oxygen, a powerful yet natural oxidizing agent that reacts with surface molecules on potentially harmful bacteria and mold, to sanitize the air in a refrigerator. This safe process also defuses ethylene, a gas that speeds up the ripening and rotting of foods. The economical bonus of this small battery-operated device is that it can help save an estimated $2,200 per household annually by helping to keep foods fresh. The unit retails for $49.95.
“BerryBreeze is easy to operate. Just turn it on and set it in your refrigerator,” says Russ Karlen, chief executive of the Las Vegas, NV-headquartered company. “In addition to keeping foods fresh longer, making it easier to eat a healthful diet, BerryBreeze also eliminates refrigerator odors.”
Currently, Austin, TX-based Whole Foods carries BerryBreeze in its 22 Texas locations. In addition, the 13-store Carson, CA-based Bristol Farms is test marketing this on-trend product.
Source: Perishable News