Apeel has partnered with Wakefern Food Corp. to bring suppliers of sustainable producers lime to grocery stores in the Northeast, the company announced Wednesday.
Apeel, a private company that uses durability technology to extend fruit life and vegetables, expects the deal with Wakefern, the largest U.S. retail-owned supermarket cooperative, to save 1.4 million pounds from going bad every year.
"We are very happy," Apeel CEO James Rogers told CNBC's Jim Cramer in a "Mad Money" interview Thursday. "First product in shelves there with lime. Again, this is just the beginning. Last time we talked, we introduced a product for avocado, now with lime, organic apples, mandarins, oranges. You know, more grocers, more produce categories and more shoppers . "
Wakefern branded stores ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market will begin wearing Apeel & # 39; s paste this month. The cooperative includes more than 360 supermarkets located in the northeastern United States.
The length and value of the agreement was not announced.
Wakefern's Head of Commerce, Bryant Harris, said in a press release that the company "continually explores new ways to improve the sustainability of the foods we source so that our customers can feel good by knowing that the fruits and vegetables they love also contribute to to reduce waste and better for the environment. "
Apeel, which placed No. 34 on CNBC's 2020 Disruptor 50 list, was founded in 201
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The coating on Apple's adhesives limits how quickly the adhesives lose water. Wakefern plans to roll out Apple's avocado in the future.
"We've been in a food crisis," Rogers said. "Today's food waste is this invisible levy added to our food system for $ 2.6 trillion annually, and by reducing waste we can release all that value back to everyone who participates in the food system, which is every single person who eats."
The Apeel business, which has $ 360 million in funding and a $ 1 billion valuation, appealed to celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Katy Perry, who contributed to a $ 250 million fundraising round led by GIC in May. Apeel placed No. 48 on last year's Disruptor list.
"They see the same future as we do, with all this waste and with 1 in 9 people getting hungry, there is a huge rebuilding of the food system on a foundation that will support more people and our planet," she said Rogers.