Proactive Food Safety: Moving the Industry Forward

Proactive Food Safety: Moving the Industry Forward

An almost constant spate of food recalls should require us to think about proactive food safety. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there were 1,958 food and cosmetic recalls in 2018 and already 1,163 in 2019. Since 2012, there were 18,134 recalls. (This includes recalls for contamination, foreign particles, unreported allergens and other sources.) When it comes to fresh produce, we most commonly see issues related to E. coli, salmonella and listeria. And, while we may often identify the problem, too often we can’t...Continue Reading...
How to Feed a Hungry Planet: Food for Thought

How to Feed a Hungry Planet: Food for Thought

We need to come up with new approaches to feed a hungry planet. In a recent article in NPR’s The Salt, reporter Allison Aubrey makes the case that many people in the world today are malnourished and do not get enough fruits and vegetables. And, the problem is only going to get worse. In fact, according to a study in The Lancet Planetary Health, “If everyone around the globe began to eat the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, there wouldn’t be enough to go around.” What Will We Do When There’s More People to Feed?...Continue Reading...
Supply Chain Waste: Can We Fix the Problem? (Yes)

Supply Chain Waste: Can We Fix the Problem? (Yes)

Supply chain waste is a major contributor to the global food waste problem. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), supply chains cause 40% of food waste in North America. Yet, unfortunately, too few people realize that problems in the fresh food supply chain contribute to the waste experienced by retailers and consumers. All too often, the blame for the waste is placed on people that really can’t do much to prevent it. The USA is the Leader in Waste According to a recent article in Supply...Continue Reading...
Grocery Shopper Trends 2019: Key Insights

Grocery Shopper Trends 2019: Key Insights

FMI recently published their Grocery Shopper Trends 2019 report (free to FMI members, $250 for non-members but parts are available for free on the FMI website). This annual review of what’s happening in the grocery industry contains a wealth of interesting insights. When comparing myself to their results, I found I was inline with some trends and an outlier for others. Are you in the mainstream when it comes to grocery shopper trends? Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting ones. How Many Stores Do You Shop at Each Month?...Continue Reading...
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...