How Kroger Is Keeping Avocados Ripe Longer

Time for a Millenial happy dance.

Taylor A. Ritz

Kroger Partnering With Apeel Sciences

Part of the love-hate relationship with avocados is knowing that one day you’ll cut into your favorite fruit only to find a brown, mushy, inedible consistency inside.

But what if I told you that you could buy an avocado that would stay ripe twice as long?

Kroger, the fifth-largest retailer in the world, has been working with a tech start-up out of Santa Barbara to do just that. To help meet Kroger’s Zero Hunger, Zero Waste Initiative that aims to eliminate food waste by 2025, the general retailer has partnered with a company called Apeel Sciences. Since its founding in 2012 Apeel’s scientists have been working on a solution to food waste that occurs after harvest.

Basically, Apeel Sciences was looking for a way to keep produce fresher, longer.

They appear to have succeeded.

Keeping Avocados Fresher, Longer

Working with Kroger, Apeel Sciences developed a coating made out of vegetable matter to spray on avocados after harvest. This coating prevents oxidation and locks in moisture, keeping avocados from spoiling for up to twice as long as untreated avocados. Kroger released these longer-lasting avocados for sale in their Cincinnati market to resounding success. Now, these super avocados are coming to 1,100 other Kroger stores across the United States.

Is it safe?

It’s no secret that the public can be wary of mixing technology and food. Other food technology such as genetically modified food (or GMOs), has seen push back from the public. It only follows that some consumers may be cautious about this new avocado coating.

According to Apeel Sciences, the invisible coating is derived from plants. More specifically, lipids and glycerolipids that naturally occur in the peels, seeds, and pulp of fruits and vegetables. Suppliers spray the coating on the product before it is transported to stores.

Apeel’s avocado technology has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In addition, the coating has been recognized as GRAS, or Generally Recognized As Safe, meaning it is safe to eat.

Want to try out a technologically-enhanced avocado guaranteed to stay fresher, longer? Check the Kroger locations near you to see if they’re offering these super avocados.

Why Mess With Food?

Did you know that 40% of food grown goes to waste? On a planet where 815 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, this statistic is troubling, to say the least. So how do we have wasted food and hungry people? 

It’s a complex question to answer. Part of the problem is transporting nourishing food to areas with undernourished people. The goal is to create ways to keep produce fresher for a longer period of time. Apeel’s technology may create opportunities to transport produce to undernourished people without it spoiling along the way.

What Produce Is Next?

Now that Kroger and Apeel Sciences have seen success using their coating on avocados, next they will be trying it out on limes and asparagus. Once again, the Cincinnati market will be the test site.

What Do You Think?

Do you think this innovation will save lives? Or should we keep technology out of our food supply? 

Let us know!