Supermarket Perimeter - June 2020 - 47

Produce

Given Oppy's involvement throughout the entire supply chain, from
growing to distributing and marketing, the company is fortunate to
have a good idea of where the biggest problems and opportunities are,
she added.

BACK-OF-THE-HOUSE HELP

Vapor power
Hazel's technology uses grape sachets that release active, shelf lifeenhancing vapors to slow food waste during transit and storage. Oppy's
trial with the new product was conducted with seedless red grapes and
carried out using pallets that were shipped from South America to Los
Angeles.
Some of the grapes were treated with the grape sachets, others
weren't. Upon arrival, the treated grapes had a crisper texture, showed
no signs of dehydration, were greener and looked stronger than the
untreated fruit.
The Oppy/Hazel collaboration won't be limited to just grapes,
Perkins said.
"We are working with Hazel to apply their technology across Oppy's
diverse product offerings and have carried out trials with various fruit
and vegetables," she said.
Oppy also has many other shelf-life tests scheduled for this year and
for 2021. Perkins said the company is gathering expertise about how to
best align the right technology with its products so it can offer solutions
across the supply chain.
COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on the benefits of long shelf life
products, a fact that an abundance of data has already backed up,
Perkins said.
"While that has traditionally meant frozen and canned foods, more
perishable foods can potentially be included in this category thanks to
shelf life-extension technology," she said.
Regardless of the current circumstances, when consumers
purchase quality product that tastes good they tend to make more
repeat purchases, meaning the more companies like Oppy can use
solutions like SLE to provide retailers with high-quality, long-shelf life
products, the more consumers will come back for repeat purchases,
Perkins added.

Rubbermaid Commercial Products LLC's
FreshWorks Produce Saver is perfect for backof-the-house instore deli applications, said Daniel
Murff, an end user specialist for Huntersville,
North Carolina-based Rubbermaid.
The FreshWorks Produce Saver helps prevent
shrink of fresh fruits and vegetables, Murff said.
The product features a filter that naturally regulates
the flow of oxygen, extending contents' shelf life.
A built-in drain tray also promotes air flow
while keeping produce elevated from residual
moisture. The Fresh Works Produce Saver
also features an air-tight lid that's easy to
open and close, and containers can nest with
standard food boxes for easy storage.
The FreshWorks Produce Saver can extend
the shelf life of a wide variety of fresh
fruits and vegetables. For example:

Profit and principle
While the pandemic has brought these issues to the forefront, it's always
been a long-term focus area for Oppy - rightfully so, Perkins said, as
food wastage is not only a matter of profit but also of principle.
In the United States alone, about 30% of all food that is harvested is
thrown away, often due to early spoilage. By reducing spoilage during
transport and storage, suppliers, farmers, and retailers all ultimately
benefit by having more product available to the market. There's also the
significant environmental factor related to food waste as well, which
would be mitigated by this technology.
"Consumers' shopping habits will continue to change as the situation
progresses, develops and matures," she said. "So what's needed now
more than ever is a long-term commitment and approach to shelf life
extension generally, and innovation especially. It also opens up the
possibility of bringing new products to the North American market that
otherwise might not have been feasible - products, for instance, that
are typically too fragile to survive the transit time."
supermarketperimeter.com

BELL PEPPERS up to

50%
100%
200%
ROMAINE up to

CELERY up to

JUNE 2020 - 47


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Supermarket Perimeter - June 2020

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