Camarillo, California – Houweling’s Group has officially launched its plastic-free California Grown English Cucumbers in partnership with Apeel. While English Cucumbers traditionally have required single-use plastic for shelf-life extension and product quality through the supply chain, Apeel Cucumbers maintain freshness, firmness, and color without single-use plastics. Walmart is among the first to pilot plastic-free cucumbers with Apeel on store shelves.
Consumers and Retailers continue to seek out more sustainable packaging formats and brands who are committed to sustainability as a core tenet. With this demand in the marketplace, Houweling’s is gratified to be the first to market and lead the adoption of a more sustainable cucumber. For every 500,000 cases shipped Houweling’s and Apeel will eliminate the equivalent of 820,000 single use plastic water bottles out of the supply chain and ultimately out of landfills.
“From the first time we reviewed the potential of plastic-free cucumbers, we saw the opportunity and the challenge of bringing avante garde technology to market. From a high-level, the opportunity to lead a disruption in this category and improve our decorated sustainability profile put us on course to where we are today.” Shared Kevin Doran, Houweling’s Group President & CEO.
Apeel is on a mission to eliminate food waste with avocados, organic apples and limes at major U.S. retail grocers and avocados and citrus in the European Union. But for the first time the edible “peel” technology is being used to replace plastic and replicate the shelf-life the plastic provides the standard pack at retail.
David Bell, Houweling’s Group CMO noted, “When surveying the cucumber consumer, we heard loud and clear the desire to avoid single-use plastics, with 62% holding the preference. This echoed the direct requests we hear from consumers and retail partners around removing the plastic. Quite simply, it wasn’t possible until we found Apeel.”
Houweling’s is a world-renowned greenhouse vegetable grower, and marketer with facilities in Camarillo, CA, Mona, UT, Loveland, CO, and Nogales, AZ. Houweling’s focus on consistent, tasty, and sustainable produce, sets it apart from other grower marketers. From seed selection through growing, nurturing, harvesting, packing, shipping, and servicing customers, the company is a leader in the North American greenhouse sector.
ABOUT APEEL PRODUCE
From strawberries to peppers, every fruit and vegetable has a protective peel or skin that nature uses to keep it fresh. Made from materials found in fruit, Apeel adds a little extra “peel” to the surface of fresh produce to slow water loss and oxidation (two factors that cause spoilage). Apeel produce stays fresh for much longer, so you have more time to enjoy it at its most delicious — and much less food and money is wasted. For suppliers and retailers, Apeel’s technology creates an optimal microclimate inside every fruit or vegetable, maintaining quality while extending shelf life and transportability — with reduced reliance on refrigeration and controlled atmosphere. For more information, see the Apeel FA Q.
Apeel is a company that is fighting the global food waste crisis by utilizing nature’s tools to prevent waste in the first place — a sustainable approach to the world’s growing food demands. The company’s plant-derived technology helps fresh food growers, suppliers, and retailers maintain produce quality and extend shelf life, which minimizes food waste from the farm to the retail shelf to the kitchen table.
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.
Founded by CEO James Rogers, PhD, Apeel’s venture partners include GIC, Upfront Ventures, Viking Global Investors, Andreessen Horowitz, Tao Capital Partners, S2G Ventures, Powerplant Ventures, DBL Partners, Rock Creek Group, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UK Department for International Development, and The Rockefeller Foundation. The company is recognized as a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, a Friend of Champions 12.3, and a 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50.