Romaine Lettuce Labeling – Zest Fresh Can Help

Romaine Lettuce Labeling – Zest Fresh Can Help

On November 27, the FDA recommended a voluntary romaine lettuce labeling program for suppliers of processed and bulk romaine grown throughout the United States. This is in response to the recent E. coli issues that led to the FDA’s November 20 directive to remove and destroy all romaine lettuce in the fresh food supply chain. The FDA is requesting that all romaine lettuce be labeled, whether in bulk, processed or mixed, with the harvest date and location information. This label should be visible on all packaged produce and included...Continue Reading...
It’s (Past) Time for Freshness Management

It’s (Past) Time for Freshness Management

America wastes 40 percent of its food, according to the National Resource Defense Council’s 2017 Wasted report. That’s like buying five bags of groceries, leaving the store and throwing two of them into the dumpster and driving away. The report goes on to state that 12 percent of fruit and 10 percent of vegetables are wasted at the retailer. Even more is wasted by consumers, many of whom watch produce spoil prematurely at their home before they can consume it. No other industry would tolerate so much waste. And, while retailers and...Continue Reading...
Five Days?

Five Days?

How long do you expect your fresh produce to remain “fresh” after it’s purchased and brought home? Before joining Zest Labs, this question never really crossed my mind. I just expected it wouldn’t spoil before I consumed it. Chances are your grocer has a target amount of time for how long you should be able to store the produce you bought before it spoils or goes bad. After all, they want to be able to keep your business and selling produce that spoils prematurely is a quick way to lose it. We think that most grocery stores aim to...Continue Reading...
Do Shelf-life Extenders Prevent Food Waste?

Do Shelf-life Extenders Prevent Food Waste?

As produce suppliers and grocery store chains face increased competition and reduced margins, they turn their attention to finding ways to reduce fresh food waste. About 12 percent of fruits and 10 percent of vegetables are wasted at the retail store, according to the NRDC. If one out of 10 heads of lettuce or clamshells of strawberries are being tossed because they spoiled prematurely, that’s a lot of money going to waste that significantly impacts profitability. A Variety of Approaches A number of approaches to address this...Continue Reading...
Saving Money Day 1 – Invest $1, Get $9 Back

Saving Money Day 1 – Invest $1, Get $9 Back

Many of us have been told something like “Today you saved $12!” as the clerk hands us our receipt at the grocery store. It’s great to know that you saved money by essentially doing something you were already going to do anyway – shop for groceries. Recent advancements in cold supply chain temperature monitoring and management solutions, offer growers, shippers and retailers a similar benefit.  Without significant changes in your cold chain processes, you can save money – money that positively impacts your bottom line beginning on...Continue Reading...
ReFED: Committed to Reducing U.S. Food Waste

ReFED: Committed to Reducing U.S. Food Waste

Each year, the United States wastes 63 million tons of food – that’s $218 billion of waste. Forty percent of the food that is produced goes uneaten. An average family throws away 25 percent of groceries they purchase. These are alarming statistics and, worse yet, one in seven Americans suffer from food insecurity, meaning that they don’t have consistent or reliable access to sufficiently affordable and nutritious food. This is a problem we need to solve. Eradicating food waste is widely misunderstood as an out of reach ideal,...Continue Reading...
PMA 2018 – Wow!

PMA 2018 – Wow!

PMA’s Fresh Summit did not disappoint! This year’s Produce Marketing Association’s annual conference had over 21,000 attendees and over 1.1 million square feet of trade show floor space housing 1,200 exhibitors spanning 55 rows from one end of the hall to the other. In addition to a plethora of produce – from apples to zucchini – there were a number of technology vendors exhibiting, some new and some who’ve been exhibiting for years. What’s Changed? Last week’s blog discussed my expectations for this year’s Fresh Summit: I was...Continue Reading...
PMA’s Fresh Summit: Eat Up!

PMA’s Fresh Summit: Eat Up!

This week is the Produce Marketing Association’s Fresh Summit Conference and Expo – the largest fresh fruit, vegetable and floral show in the Americas. The event brings over 18,000 people from across the supply chain and around the world together to discuss ideas, network and experience the latest industry innovations. Having attended more trade shows than I care to remember, I have to say that this is one of the most interesting events there is, if for no other reason than you can walk over 50 aisles sampling fresh fruits and...Continue Reading...
Grocers are Turning to Artificial Intelligence

Grocers are Turning to Artificial Intelligence

If you care about food, these statistics from a recent Progressive Grocer article Grocers Embrace AI to Optimize Supply Chain might alarm you: 43 percent of grocers are challenged by lack of real-time inventory visibility 48 percent of grocers rate their forecasting technology from very poor to average 43 percent of retail supply chain professionals say their technology can’t keep up with business demands These are flashing red lights – with the above data illustrating significant problems within the fresh food supply chain...Continue Reading...
First Principles Thinking and the Fresh Food Supply Chain

First Principles Thinking and the Fresh Food Supply Chain

What do Southwest Airlines, SpaceX and the newest approach to pitching in baseball, “bullpenning,” have in common? Each took a new approach to solving an existing problem: Southwest eliminated the hub-and-spoke model favored by other airlines, reduced turn times at airports and standardized on a single type of airplane (the Boeing 737) to reduce and simplify maintenance. The result was lower fares and cornering the market on inexpensive air travel. This sparked change in the industry. SpaceX started with the basics of what went into...Continue Reading...