Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 56

SPOTLIGHT

SALADS
by Andy Nelson

THE DEVASTATING 2018 E. COLI
OUTBREAKS linked to California-grown romaine lettuce drove
home the point yet again: food
safety is job No. 1 for growers,
processors and marketers of
bagged salads.
Fortunately, suppliers and
third-party specialists continue
to develop new technologies and
protocols to keep future outbreaks to a minimum and to limit
their impact when they do occur.
San Jose, California-based
traceability technology provider Zest Labs Inc.'s customers in
the leafy greens industry face
substantial challenges when it
comes to making sure product
is brought to market in time to
ensure long shelf life, says Peter
Mehring, Zest Labs' CEO.
"Their challenge is the variability in harvest process and

weather," Mehring says. "Any
variability in timing from how it
is in the field, how it's brought in,
how it's processed."
Harvesting in the warm climates of California and Arizona
significantly impacts freshness
and shelf life. Complicating
matters, product quality or other
problems related to timing can't
be seen in the first 24 or 48 hours
after product ships, Mehring says.
That means the problem isn't
found until a supplier hears about
it from a retailer or, even worse,
a consumer. That's where Zest
Labs and its traceability technology come in.
Customers place Zest Labs
sensors on every box or bin in the
field after leafy greens have been
harvested. The sensors automatically record when product is
harvested. Then, throughout the

supply chain, that box or bin can
be traced automatically, without
bar codes needing to be scanned.
"The variability they find is
eye opening," Mehring says. "It's
like traffic. When utilization is at
50%, things flow smoothly. But
then you get peaks of 80 to 90%
utilization, or even over 100%,
sometimes when the weather
changes. You can't harvest for
two days, then you have to catch
up, then everything backs. Then,
how you handle things becomes
critical to eliminate bottlenecks."
The visibility provided by Zest
Labs' sensors helps shippers prioritize based on how fresh product is. Within the leafy greens
category, that can be especially
critical for bagged salad producers, Mehring says.
"Bagged salads typically
contain two or more kinds of
leafy greens," he says. "And those
different greens are coming from
two very different fields. Even if
they're harvested on the same
day, they can have very different
experiences and shelf lives."
Bagged salads, as Mehring

points out, are only as good as
their weakest ingredient. In addition, once lettuce is cut, its edges
oxidize faster - much faster than
an uncut head of lettuce.
The results of using technology like Zest Labs' sensors can
be dramatic for leafy greens
growers. With one customer, Zest
Labs saw average shelf life climb
from six to "well over" 18 days,
Mehring says.
Commissaries and central
kitchens can benefit significantly from traceability technology
in leafy greens production,
Mehring says.
"Commissaries are often getting leafy greens in bulk and partially processed - a 10 lb bag of
shredded lettuce, for example," he
says. "Knowing all about how it's
processed, how it's aging - they
don't typically get that visibility. If
you don't have the data built in,
you can't inspect for it, you can't
screen out for quality control.
It has to be built in so you can
run it at the speed of commerce.
Suppliers are often blown away
by the visibility we give them,
and they can use that to deliver
more consistent quality, and they
can communicate the data at the
time of shipment."

Zest Labs sensors, placed on boxes and bins in the field right after harvest, are tracked automatically
throughout the supply chain.
56 - JUNE 2019

www.supermarketperimeter.com

To help ensure that the salads
it ships are not only delicious
but also safe and long-lasting,
Ontario, California-based FiveStar
Gourmet Foods begins its production process by selecting only
the highest-quality ingredients
at the peak of freshness, says Tal
Shoshan, the company's CEO.
FiveStar, the nation's largest
producer of single-serve salads,
can produce more than 1,200
salads per minute. And when
it moves into its new state-ofthe-art facility later this year,
FiveStar will triple its production

ZEST LABS

Top quality meets cuttingedge food safety


http://www.supermarketperimeter.com

Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019

Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019
Editor's Note - Protein choices for all
Contents
The Wire - Organic food sales approach $48 billion
New ShopRite store features culinary center
Kroger piloting new Home Chef meals
WASTE NOT (as much)
Local focus
Bakery - Decorating trends
Sweet goods
Deli - TAILGATING, PICNICS
Sandwiches
Meat & Poultry - Protein alternatives
Sausage
Produce - Ripening
Avocados
Seafood - Cod, pollock, haddock
Food safety - Staying INSPECTION-READY
COMMISSARY INSIDER - June 2019
PORTION CONTROL
SPOTLIGHT - SALADS
TECHNOLOGY - RECIPE MANAGEMENT
OPERATIONS - DIVING INTO LINE DATA TO HIT OPERATING GOALS
Product Showcase
Advertisers
Fresh Takes
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 2
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Editor's Note - Protein choices for all
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Contents
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 5
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Kroger piloting new Home Chef meals
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 7
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - WASTE NOT (as much)
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 9
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 10
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 11
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 12
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 13
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 14
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 15
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Local focus
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 17
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 18
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 19
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 20
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 21
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Bakery - Decorating trends
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 23
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 24
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 25
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Sweet goods
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 27
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 28
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 29
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Deli - TAILGATING, PICNICS
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 31
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Sandwiches
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 33
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 34
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 35
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Meat & Poultry - Protein alternatives
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 37
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 38
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 39
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Sausage
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 41
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 42
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 43
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Produce - Ripening
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 45
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Avocados
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 47
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Seafood - Cod, pollock, haddock
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 49
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Food safety - Staying INSPECTION-READY
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 51
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 52
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - PORTION CONTROL
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 54
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 55
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - SPOTLIGHT - SALADS
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 57
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 58
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 59
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - TECHNOLOGY - RECIPE MANAGEMENT
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 61
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - OPERATIONS - DIVING INTO LINE DATA TO HIT OPERATING GOALS
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 63
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Product Showcase
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Advertisers
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - Fresh Takes
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 67
Supermarket Perimeter - June 2019 - 68
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