A groundbreaking technology first developed in the U.S. that extends the shelf life of avocados has made its way across the pond.
Food technology startup Apeel Sciences announced Monday that it would stretch its distribution overseas with Nature's Pride so European markets can get a taste of its proprietary protective edible coating made from plants.
The tasteless, invisible layer that gets sprayed on the produce "keeps moisture inside produce and oxygen out, which dramatically slows the rate that produce spoils," according to the manufacturer.
"Nature's Pride has integrated the Apeel solution across its expansive avocado value chain to bring Apeel Avocados to Edeka and Netto in Germany, and Salling Group stores, Føtex and Bilka, in Denmark," the company wrote in a statement. "It’s an amazing opportunity to extend our impact on food waste and to bring avocados that stay fresher, longer to consumers in Europe, where avocados cross an ocean to arrive in stores."
The Santa Barbara-based company, backed by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, saw more than 50% reduction in food waste on average at the U.S. retail level, the company said, which prompted Apeel to expand its reach and impact globally.
Food waste has reached a staggering 88 million tons per year in Europe, with associated costs estimated at over 140 billion euros, according to the European Commission. Additionally, the comission found that households in Germany throw away almost every eighth grocery item, which means 6.7 million tons of food goes to waste in those homes per year.
"We're trying to build a world that works with nature, not against nature," Apeel CEO James Rogers said at the Food Tank Summit in November. "Rather than creating new chemicals that the world has never seen before, we are looking into the natural world."
Consumers can find Apeel produce by the Apeel brand mark on stickers, labels and in-store signage.
The Apeel Avocados are the first Apeel produce category from the company to arrive in Europe, but other categories are expected to roll out in the future.