The Edeka Group and Apeel have announced that they are further extending their joint commitment against food waste.
The outcome of an extensive pilot test in about 2,900 selected Edeka and Netto Marken-Discount stores proved successful, Apeel said, with a 50 per cent reduction in avocado food waste, along with a significant increase in sales and greater customer satisfaction.
As a result, Edeka now offers Apeel’s longer-lasting avocados and citrus in more than 11,000 Edeka and Netto stores throughout Germany, and Edeka and Apeel are planning to introduce additional categories in the future, subject to approval by the EU authorities.
“With the nationwide launch of Apeel in our stores, we are reaching a new milestone in our goal of reducing food waste and the use of plastic packaging step-by-step,” said Markus Mosa, chief executive of Hamburg-based Edeka AG, “We also support our shoppers to make an active contribution themselves to prevent valuable food in the household from ending up in the garbage bin.”
“When we use nature's solutions to solve food waste, everyone benefits: food retailers, shoppers and ultimately, the environment," outlined James Rogers, chief executive of Apeel. "Apeel’s food waste reduction results at Edeka suggest that we're entering an age of sustainability where there’s alignment between businesses and doing the right thing for the planet. Solving food waste goes beyond a better bottom line: it's now understood to be the number one way to fight climate change."
The pilot test with Apeel was conducted at about 2,900 Edeka and Netto Marken-Discount stores in the first half of 2020, with avocados from Chile and Peru treated with Apeel.
Over a period of twelve weeks, write-off rates (shrink and food loss), sales and turnover values were tracked.
Figures were compared with those of a control group of non-Apeel treated produce, and results showed that in the produce departments that used Apeel, a total of 50 per cent fewer avocados were wasted, while Apeel helped pilot stores achieve 20 per cent growth in avocado sales, due to both selling more avocados that would have otherwise gone to waste as well as increased customer demand.
In addition, avocados treated with Apeel proved to be superior in quality thanks to its plant-derived technology that retained moisture while reducing oxidation, which ensured longer-lasting freshness throughout the natural ripening process and longer overall shelf-life.
In Germany, some 12 tonnes of food are disposed of each year – which corresponds to about 75kg per person. Studies show that more than half of food losses occur in private households, and fruit and vegetables are discarded most of all, accounting for 34 per cent.
The Apeel process helps retailers and consumers make a simple but effective contribution toward combating food waste.
Avocados, as well as oranges and clementines under the WWF project, are currently the first Apeel categories to be offered at Edeka and Netto Marken-Discount stores.
The Edeka Group plans to introduce further Apeel produce categories in the future in cooperation with its suppliers.