Preventing Food Waste: Multiple Approaches

Preventing Food Waste: Multiple Approaches

A recent article in Forbes discussed several approaches to reducing or preventing food waste. The article, Can You Solve Food Waste With An Airbnb Model? begins by citing data from a recent Zest Labs food waste research study measuring and comparing the shelf-life (or freshness) of produce being sold at major grocery chain stores across the United States. Our research found that the freshness of produce – specifically strawberries, romaine lettuce and packaged salad mixes – varied significantly from store to store as well as within...Continue Reading...
New Zest Fresh for Produce Modules: Rapid Implementations and Faster ROI

New Zest Fresh for Produce Modules: Rapid Implementations and Faster ROI

Today, Zest Labs announced the availability of three new modularized components of our Zest Fresh for Produce solution, each of which are built on the Zest Fresh platform. The three new Zest Fresh for Produce modules make it simpler and faster for suppliers, restaurants and grocers to trial and deploy our solutions to improve operational efficiency and ensure delivered freshness, while reducing field-to-store food waste and increasing customer satisfaction. Solving the Food Waste Problem Food waste is a significant problem....Continue Reading...
Food Safety Tips: Three Things to Consider

Food Safety Tips: Three Things to Consider

It’s always good to think about food safety tips as we approach one of the biggest food and barbecue weekends of the year. Food safety continues to be a challenge as last week saw yet another food safety outbreak, this one related to salmonella associated with papayas from Mexico. Recent Food Safety Challenges The last two years has seen three E. coli food safety issues related to romaine lettuce alone. In 2018, according to Food Safety Magazine, we had 382 food product recalls. Some relate to undeclared allergens or some sort of...Continue Reading...
Agriculture Technology and “The Messy Middle”

Agriculture Technology and “The Messy Middle”

The agriculture technology industry – more commonly known as AgTech – is ripe for accelerated growth. Over the past few years we’ve seen widespread adoption of technologies such as pre-harvest sensors for monitoring irrigation, fertilization and weed abatement, and drones that provide farmers greater remote crop visibility. There’s also been a lot of investment in “last mile” technologies as food moves from the supplier to the retailer and consumer. But what about what’s in between, that space between harvest and delivering fresh...Continue Reading...
Sustainability and the Supply Chain

Sustainability and the Supply Chain

What are the impacts of sustainability on the supply chain? How do things like hurricanes and flooding impact the production and distribution of fresh food? Does climate change play a role? How does food waste contribute to the environmental problems? I think that, intuitively, we know the answers to these questions, but do we know how much of a role food waste plays and climate change’s impacts and trends over time? Sustainability: The Impact of Weather on the Supply Chain At a recent meeting of the Cold Chain Council, an...Continue Reading...
Shelf-life Variability at Grocery Stores: Half-bad is Not Good

Shelf-life Variability at Grocery Stores: Half-bad is Not Good

Shelf-life variability can have a significant impact on customer satisfaction and loyalty to a grocery store. According to the Food Marketing Institute, the number one reason a shopper chooses a grocery store is because of “high quality fruits and vegetables” with 80 percent of people rating this as their primary motivation. Too many customers, however, have had the unfortunate experience of purchasing produce that looks good on the store shelf only to have it “go bad” at home shortly after they purchase it and before they consume...Continue Reading...
The “Best If Used By” Date Label: Will It Reduce Food Waste?

The “Best If Used By” Date Label: Will It Reduce Food Waste?

On May 23, 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a letter urging industry-wide adoption of a “Best If Used By” date. The letter seeks to simplify what has for years been a somewhat random system of various dates printed on foods that generally confused consumers and led to waste because consumers – often incorrectly – threw out food because of a printed date, even if the food was still safe to eat. It’s interesting to note that there is only one category of foods that require date labeling: infant formula. For...Continue Reading...
World Hunger Day 2019: Sustainability

World Hunger Day 2019: Sustainability

Today, May 28, is World Hunger Day 2019, an initiative by The Hunger Project. According to their website: More than 821 million people do not have enough food to eat. 60 percent of the world’s hungry are women. 98 percent of the world’s undernourished live in developing countries. Hunger kills more than Aids, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. The Hunger Project is focused on solving a number of issues associated with food. Their view, according to their website, is that: Hunger is not just about food. Hunger and poverty are...Continue Reading...
The Grocery Shopping Experience: Fresh Foods, Fresh Ideas

The Grocery Shopping Experience: Fresh Foods, Fresh Ideas

The grocery shopping experience continues to evolve. More than one third of U.S. grocery shoppers are now shopping online, according to Coresight Research. In their U.S. Online Grocery Survey 2019 that was recently referenced in The Supermarket News, 36.8 percent of those polled bought groceries online over the past year. This is up 23.1 percent from the previous year. They figure that this represents about 93 million online grocery purchasers, a gain of nearly 35 million from 2018. However, their research also showed that only 39.5...Continue Reading...
Rethinking Food Safety and the Supply Chain

Rethinking Food Safety and the Supply Chain

Recently, I saw the Produce Marketing Association’s Dr. Bob Whitaker present on food safety and the supply chain. Dr. Bob, as he’s affectionately known, was the opening keynote speaker at the Salinas AgTech Summit in March and also the closing keynote speaker at this month’s PMA TechKnowledge conference. At both events, his message was about the need to rethink how we, as an industry, address food safety challenges and the supply chain. For me to summarize his presentations would be challenging as they were quite comprehensive and...Continue Reading...