Hazel Technologies Honored as One of Fast Company’s ‘Most Innovative Companies’

Hazel Announces Canada Expansion as Part of 2024-2025 Business Plan 

Chicago, IL – Hazel Technologies Inc., a Chicago-based technology company delivering solutions for fresh produce to extend shelf-life, increase sales, and combat food waste, was recently named to Fast Company magazine’s prestigious “Most Innovative Companies” list. Recognized in the Agriculture category for its success reducing food waste for many of the world’s biggest produce companies, Hazel Technologies and the other honorees will be recognized at a special Fast Company Most Innovative Companies gala taking place at the Pavilion at North Javits in New York City. 

Fast Company described Hazel Technologies as part of, “a burgeoning category of AgTech products that promise to keep fruit and veggies fresh along the supply chain.” However, according to Fast Company, what differentiated Hazel from its competitors was its ease-of-use, “while most solutions more closely resemble wax coatings or an eco-friendly plastic wrap and require producers and distributors to buy equipment, train workers, then burn time applying them, Hazel’s inconspicuous Hazel 100 sachets are designed for the supply chain as it is.” Just drop the sachet into a box or bin of produce before shipping or storage and you’re done.  

To date, Hazel’s solutions have treated over 5 billion pounds of produce, helping to eliminate an estimated 400 million pounds of waste. In the year ahead, Hazel aims to take that impact to even greater heights as it prepares to extend into the fast-growing Canada market. The crops in focus for the Canada market include apples, pears, cherries and other stone fruit for its Hazel 100 product, and cucumbers, peppers and cherries for its Breatheway offering. Helping lead Hazel’s northward expansion is Ben Axell, Hazel’s Key Accounts Director, Mike Russell, Territory Manager for the Pacific Northwest Region & British Columbia, and Joe Parker, U.S. Account Executive, who will oversee Canada’s Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia provinces. 

“Like everywhere else in the world, food waste is a big problem in Canada,” explained Russell. “According to estimates, roughly 60% of all food produced in Canada ends up in a landfill. Most people think of that waste as food we throw away at home or in restaurants, and that’s certainly part of it, but the reality is that most of that waste occurs much sooner in the food’s lifecycle. In fact, over 70% of food waste happens before it ever reaches a consumer. This waste comes at a huge cost to food growers, exporters/importers, and retailers — that’s the business problem we help solve. It just so happens that solving that business problem also delivers a massive environmental benefit.” 

Pending final regulatory approval, Hazel will bring its flagship Hazel 100Ô solution to the Canadian market, where it will join its portfolio innovation, Hazel BreathewayÔ and present Canadian growers with longer product shelf life and more freedom of choice for postharvest partners.  

About Hazel Technologies, Inc. 

Hazel Technologies is a USDA-funded startup company that develops new solutions to extend the quality shelf life of fresh produce and reduce food waste. Founded in 2015, Hazel® services over 350 of the world’s largest fresh produce packers, shippers, and retailers. Selected as a Finalist for Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas and winner of “Best Sustainable Packaging” at the 2020 World Food Innovation Awards, the company’s patented and patent-pending technologies have been tested by top academic research programs. For more information, visit www.hazeltechnologies.com