In the News

Zest Labs CEO Takes on Walmart With $2 Billion Lawsuit

Silicon Valley start-up Zest Labs sued Walmart this week, claiming the company stole its original technology that keeps produce fresh while in transit. Zest CEO Peter Mehring discusses with Cheddar, a live streaming financial news network broadcasting live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Lawsuit Claims Walmart Stole Technology to Keep Produce Fresh

“In reality, Walmart used its years of unfettered access to plaintiffs’ trade secrets, proprietary information, and know-how to steal the Zest Fresh technology and misappropriate it for Walmart’s own benefit,” the complaint said.

Walmart Hit with $2B Lawsuit Over Produce Technology

“Instead of licensing the Zest Fresh technology given Walmart’s manifest need for it — and the mounting pressure it faces from Amazon and other competitors — Walmart misappropriated it without paying for it,” the complaint, which is filed with redactions to protect proprietary information, reads. “Plaintiffs file this lawsuit to protect their trade secrets and recover the billions of dollars that Walmart will save as a result of its unlawful conduct.”

Walmart Hit with $2 Billion Complaint from Zest Labs

Agricultural tech company Zest Labs and its parent company Ecoark Holdings Inc. have filed a $2 billion complaint against Walmart, claiming that the retail giant unfairly and illegally used its Zest Fresh intellectual property in the development of Walmart’s Eden food freshness technology.

Fresh food is getting fresher at Costco

AgTech company Zest Labs said Costco was using its Zest Fresh supply chain solution to further define and verify best practices that ensure delivered freshness of produce. Zest Labs is modernizing the post-harvest fresh food supply chain with innovative technology solutions that provide true end-to-end supply chain visibility that helps improve sales and reduce food waste.

Costco Taps Zest Fresh to Improve Produce Supply Chain

Costco Wholesale has selected Zest Labs’ Zest Fresh solution to further define and verify best practices that ensure delivered freshness for its produce and provide end-to-end fresh food supply chain visibility. The solution helps reduce waste, which further enables Costco to maintain its low prices for fresh food.

Solutions for Food Waste

There’s always two sides to the same coin: on the one side, those in our industry are tackling the goal of feeding many with delicious, fresh produce; but on the other side, there’s excess and waste that comes with the territory. However, companies like Zest Labs have taken it upon itself to remedy food waste as a rising problem in our industry and world.

Costco Enhancing Fresh Food Supply Chain with Agtech

Costco Wholesale has tapped freshness management solutions provider Zest Labs to enhance its fresh food supply chain. The wholesaler is utilizing the Zest Fresh solution to further define and verify best practices that ensure delivered freshness for their produce. The solution will also provide end-to-end fresh food supply chain visibility.

Go Beyond Dashboards to Gain Breakthrough Business Insights from Your Data

Using a dashboard to report on business status offers stakeholders a quick, high-level view–but a targeted causative analysis can yield valuable information that may enable bottom-line improvements. But, unless you know the causative agents behind the problems you’re trying to solve, you’re going miss the solution. Zest Fresh enables growers, distributors, and retailers to immediately see which pallets are most perishable and need to be sourced to markets faster.

How IoT Improves the Fresh Food Supply Chain

Every company is obsessed with data. They rely on it to make better decisions that improve their business and effective data capture helps leaders gain a clear view into their operations. However, data collection is only as valuable as the usable insights that it provides.

Timing Is Everything When It Comes to Fresh Produce

Food waste is a frustrating phenomenon that not only affects our environment but also impacts consumers’ wallets and businesses’ bottom lines. Up to 40 percent of the food we produce gets thrown out, costing the nation an estimated $218 Billion each year. To fix a problem, we must understand the cause. In reality, most of the factors leading to food waste happen upstream in the supply chain before the produce ever reaches the store.

Zest Labs Fights Food Waste by Routing Pallets According to Real-time Freshness

Zest Labs has developed a technological solution that can reduce food waste by tracking produce’s freshness along the supply chain in real-time and routing them accordingly. Zest Fresh, involves IoT sensors placed in pallets of fruit or vegetables as soon as they are harvested and a “freshness metric” to determine the remaining shelf life, which can vary significantly between each one. The technology can improve freshness for customers and quickly increase retailers’ produce department margins, which ultimately benefits growers and distributors as well.

How Grocers Can Reduce Food Waste and Improve Profitability

Margin pressures for retail grocers are being further squeezed due to increasing consumer expectations for high quality and low prices.  Grocers can recover margins by reducing waste for fresh foods. The industry needs an accurate view of which produce has sufficient remaining shelf-life to meet freshness and sales requirements, and which produce will spoil before it can be sold and consumed. By leveraging actionable insights about remaining freshness, the way to reduce waste become clear, and grocers and other members of the supply chain can manage the variables affecting shelf life at the pallet level.

Zest Labs Seeks to Prevent Food Waste at Harvest Level by Using IoT Technology

There is a lot of innovation happening right now in the fresh food industry. Over the last few years, significant investment has been made in AgTech (agriculture and technology) solutions, particularly preharvest for field management, irrigation and pest control. Now, the industry is turning its attention to postharvest AgTech, and that’s where one San Jose, Calif.-based company fits in.

Technology promises to calculate “true” shelf life

One of the causes of food waste is produce that goes bad earlier than expected. Of course, shipping produce that is fresh is the goal of every grower. In what manner it arrives and how fresh it remains once in the store, however, is largely out of their control. Zest Labs has come up with a solution called Zest Fresh that allows growers and shippers to know how long each pallet of their produce will remain fresh.

Blockchain and Big Data Can Help Grocers Deliver Fresher Produce

The world’s grocery market is poised to grow by one third over the next five years. But competition is increasing too — from expanding supermarket chains and other major players. To compete, food retailers will have to cater to changing consumer preferences and, when it comes to produce, after years of competing primarily on price and quality, freshness has become the new battleground. Zest Fresh uses IoT-enabled temperature sensors to monitor time and temperature of pallets, combining this information with product and field data to yield a real-time freshness metric that helps retailers decide how to route produce.

Demystifying Blockchain

Blockchain makes it easier to track a product throughout the supply chain and log data points about key safety and quality information at every stage,” according to Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs. The question Mehring and other observers have is whether blockchain, now in its infancy, is a true game changer or just another overhyped technology.

Reducing Food Waste with IoT

With all the technological advances we’ve made, from self-driving cars to IoT-enabled personal assistants, it’s hard to understand why we still waste nearly 40% of the fresh food produced in the United States. With all the technology available to us today, how can our food supply chain still be this inefficient? The short answer is that technology, particularly IoT, has historically been underutilized in post-harvest agriculture.

The Case for Pallet-level Monitoring

Most cold supply chain monitoring products monitor only the environmental conditions of the supply chain, rather than the condition of the product moving through it. That needs to change. “For fresh food, end-to-end- pallet-level data is essential for delivering freshness and safety,” asserts Peter Mehring, President and CEO of Zest Labs.

The Great IoT Data Ownership Debate

IoT is all about the data, but who owns that data? A panel at the MIT Connected Things Conference took up this topic. “The supply chain is one example where, even though a lot of people think they own the data, you’re tracking a product. And who owns that product is a good reflection of who owns the data at that time,” according to Zest Labs’ CEO Peter Mehring.

Hyped Up? Blockchain, the Fresh Food Supply Chain and Why a Hybrid Model is Best

You can’t go a day without a story about blockchain in the press. Despite the hype, blockchain merits a discussion and serious consideration as the upside benefits for its use and application in the fresh food supply chain are significant. But, at this point, is blockchain a technology looking for a problem to solve or a way of solving a known problem? Why is a hybrid model the best approach?

Blockchain Technology Could Bring Visibility, Efficiency and Security

“While the United States has a “very trusted” food supply chain, certain parts have less reliable information than others,” says Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs. “Seafood has been one area of concern; it can also be challenging to confirm the validity of organic and locally grown products. Even among big brands, seasonal outsourcing of cultivation or manufacturing can lead to inconsistencies. “Getting product-level visibility is the ultimate goal, but we don’t know many retailers that are getting that today. There are some inconsistencies and overlapping data,” Mehring says. “And while they have trusted partners, you don’t know how reliable that is from day to day.”

IoT Gains a Foothold in Food Supply Chains

When it comes to IoT and the fresh food supply chain, there is much to do because we’re still seeing 30 percent to 40 percent food waste levels post-harvest, and half of this waste is occurring before food even gets to consumers. Food wholesalers and retailers can improve their profit margins and reduce food waste by 50 percent or more by using more IoT sensors and real-time analytics for food tracking and monitoring.

Blockchain, Transparency and Food Safety

The Food Safety Modernization Act has mandated certain levels of traceability. However, exactly what form those records take, how they are stored and importantly, how they are shared is up to processors. Peter Mehring of Zest Labs says to take advantage of blockchain, processors first need to collect quality data on their products. Zest does this by using sensors that automatically log things like when products are shipped and at what temperature the products are kept.

Where to Start: Blockchain’s Role in the Fresh Produce Supply Chain

When it comes to hype, it’s hard to beat blockchain. You can’t go a day without a story about it in the trade or business press. Despite all the hype, blockchain merits a discussion and serious consideration as the upside benefits for its use and application in the fresh food supply chain is significant. But, at this point, is blockchain a technology looking for a problem to solve, or a way of solving a known problem? And, how does implementing blockchain relate to your existing business processes? Can or should blockchain replace your current systems or is a hybrid model the best? Where should you start?

Have You Set Your Blockchain, Waste Reduction Goals?

2018 could be the most challenging year yet for the grocers, manufacturing and growers alike. With new competitors, tighter margins, sustainability goals, food safety concerns and the evolving shopping habits of today’s consumers, retailers have their work cut out for them navigating the competitive landscape successfully throughout the year. Join the complimentary webinar by registering here.

4 Ways IoT Data is Decreasing Commercial Food Waste

There are plenty of bright spots where purposeful IoT shines and companies are benefiting. One story worth telling is about progress being made in the food industry, which, according to one 2015 report, loses $160 billion a year in waste. “We’re still seeing 30-40% food waste levels post harvest, and half of this waste is occurring before food even gets to consumers,” said Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs, which provides food supply chain technology solutions.

Cold Chain on the Brain

There are plenty of trends to follow in the decade ahead including preserving the planet by reducing waste. One thing all of the trends have in common is that they’re directly associated with the perishables supply chain. Moving forward retailers will need to take a much closer look at how their supply chains operate to keep up with demand.

Zest Labs Joins The Western Growers Center For Innovation And Technology

Zest Labs has become a member of the Western Growers Center for Innovation and Technology (WGCIT) in Salinas, Calif., operated by Western Growers. The WGCIT was created to help identify priorities in the agriculture industry, discover technologies to address those priorities, set up testing, facilitate industry feedback and communicate progress to fresh produce farmers in California, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.

What You Need to Know About Blockchain

As a food retailer today, you face myriad challenges, but few probably keep you up at night more than food safety concerns. Fortunately, there is a new technology with the potential to accomplish this: blockchain. Blockchain can improve transparency, trust and safety within the food supply chain. And when properly implemented, it can also help to improve the delivered freshness of perishable food and reduce waste.

Hy-Vee tests fresh food traceability

Hy-Vee is conducting a trial of the Zest Labs Zest Fresh solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to Hy-Vee stores. Hy-Vee is testing Zest Fresh, a freshness management solution that leverages the Internet of Things to autonomously track and report in real time the freshness of products from harvest to the retail store.

Hy-Vee Tests Produce Freshness Tracker

Hy-Vee is testing Zest Fresh, a technology designed to calculate and communicate the freshness of produce items as they move through the supply chain. Data gathered include temperature, time from cut to cool, time in the packinghouse, time in transit, humidity and more, according to Zest Labs.

Hy-Vee Automates Produce’s Farm-to-Fork Traceability

Midwestern grocer Hy-Vee is conducting a trial of a new solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to its stores. Partnering with San Jose, Calif.-based software company Zest Labs, the retailer is using the Zest Fresh solution to make sure it provides a vast assortment of high-quality natural, organic and locally sourced products – and ensure that customers understand the sources of the food they purchase. The solution is claimed to reduce grocers’ waste from spoilage by more than 50 percent.

Hy-Vee Tests Fresh Food Traceability With Zest Labs

Zest Labs is working with Iowa-based independent grocer Hy-Vee on a trial solution to help automate farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce coming to Hy-Vee stores. Zest Fresh is a freshness management solution that leverages the Internet of Things (IoT) to autonomously track and report in real time the freshness of products from harvest to the retail store.

Hy-Vee is making fresh even fresher

Hy-Vee is leveraging new technology to ensure food quality and transparency throughout its supply chain. The company is deploying Zest Fresh to autonomously track and report in real time the freshness of products from harvest to the retail store, in its work with a premium supplier of seedless Holiday grapes, a premium product that is exported all around the world.

Hy-Vee tests produce freshness tracker

Hy-Vee is testing Zest Fresh, a technology designed to calculate and communicate the freshness of produce items as they move through the supply chain. Data gathered include temperature, time from cut to cool, time in the packinghouse, time in transit, humidity and more, according to Zest Labs.

Hy-Vee and Zest Labs Tests Fresh Produce Traceability

Zest Labs and Hy-Vee Inc. are partnering to bring farm-to-fork traceability of fresh produce to Hy-Vee’s 245 retail stores in the Midwest. Zest Labs’ Zest Fresh autonomously tracks and reports in real time the freshness of products from harvest to retail store, wielding the industry’s first freshness metric to provide retailers like Hy-Vee with traceability data and continuous real-time visibility of the remaining freshness capacity of fresh produce.

Blockchain + IoT: Creating True Transparency Within The Food Supply Chain

While there isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to eliminating foodborne illnesses or contamination recalls, by implementing a solution using IoT and blockchain technologies in tandem, we can more efficiently track produce handling and quality, and make educated, proactive decisions about what food should make it into consumers’ homes.

How Technology Is Reducing Food Waste

Zest Labs is helping to improve the efficiency of the supply chain and help people make smarter logistics decisions.

Bagged Salad: Only as Fresh as the Weakest Ingredient

With food waste at an all-time high, real-time tracking and predictive analytics can improve visibility and decision making within the supply chain and create less waste. …

Consumer interest in transparency puts new demands on processors

A seismic shift has happened in the food and beverage industry—consumers have gone from being passive to very much being in the driver’s seat, calling the shots on what they want. They want to know all the details about a food or beverage product, from A to Z, including what it contains, where those ingredients are from, how the product was processed, how it was handled in shipping and how long it’s been sitting on that shelf …

Zest Labs brings IoT and blockchain to the fresh food supply chain

With all the hype around blockchain, it’s a technology that’s still finding its feet when it comes to wide, mainstream adoption. Therefore it’s not every day when you come across a company that uses both IoT sensor technology and the blockchain to solve a common agricultural problem. …

How one company uses Internet of Things sensors and big data to combat food waste.

Food waste in the United States is a seemingly intractable problem, with some reports stating that about half the food produced in the U.S. is not eaten. The wastage amounts to billions of dollars in losses, and the Environmental Protection Agency says as much as $160 billion worth of food each year ends up in a landfill instead of an American stomach. …

These high-tech sensors track exactly how fresh our produce is so we stop wasting food.

We throw out over 30% of food because it goes bad before it’s supposed to. A data-driven tracking technology from Zest Fresh is ensuring food stays fresh in transit–to cut down the amount we waste. …

Using the Internet of Things to reduce food waste.

The USDA estimates that more than 30% of all food products in the United States are thrown away, costing the nation more than $161 billion per year.  This is often due to an inefficient supply chain that struggles to keep produce cool, and therefore fresh enough, from farm to store. …

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What do you rely on when you buy groceries to make sure you’re buying food that won’t go bad the day after tomorrow?

Sell by dates? Trust in your grocer? Sniff-n-buy? Good luck with that. We knew when we bought food from a farm that it was harvested that day so we could assume how fresh it would be when we brought it home. …

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This is why we curse in the kitchen.

You buy the most beautiful fragrant strawberries figuring you’ll make strawberry ice cream or maybe strawberries and shortcake but when you take them out of the fridge the next day to get started, half the berries are furry! This is why we curse in the kitchen. …