The pandemic has accelerated the evolution of our global food system and spotlighted some new consumer expectations and shopping behaviors. Retailers are now on the front lines of new shifts in shopper preferences. When consumers buy online, they want the produce they receive to be the best quality and as sustainable as possible. Fresh is the future of food in retail, and produce is how retailers can differentiate and win. Apeel-protected produce maintains quality and freshness for much longer, leading to less waste and savings for food retailers and consumers alike.
Food waste is a systemic issue - it accounts for roughly 8 percent of global greenhouse gases, and Project Drawdown has identified reducing food waste as the most impactful action to fight climate change. We are focused on furthering our partnerships and plant-based products to prevent food waste at every step of the fresh food supply chain, including the consumer at home. Approximately 25 percent of produce purchased goes to waste in American households and 19 percent in European households.
We believe that we can all do our part to help slow the rate of food waste, or as we say, unwaste. One way that we can directly help at Apeel is in speeding up the availability of longer-lasting produce in the U.S., U.K., and Europe as demand for fresh, sustainable food continues to rise. So we are pleased to announce that we’ve just secured a new funding round to help continue the progress we’ve been making across the world.
Led by returning investor Temasek, reinforcing their confidence in Apeel’s opportunity, and Mirae Asset Global Investments, with a track record of supporting some of the world’s most prolific sustainability companies, this new funding will be used to co-create new supply networks so that we can expand the availability of Apeel. We plan to operationalize at least ten additional supply networks by the end of the year. This will expand our retail offering beyond the 40 that we currently distribute to, taking us from tens of thousands of store shelves worldwide to many thousands more, making it far easier for consumers to purchase Apeel produce. Our partners share our commitment to sustainability and in delivering superior products that are better for their customers and the environment.
Food retailers that carry Apeel produce have reported increased shopper satisfaction due to produce that stays fresher for longer while maintaining quality, and up to 50 percent reductions in food waste with corresponding sales growth. Since 2019, we have prevented 42 million pieces of fruit from going to waste at retail, which has helped avoid 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions and conserve nearly 4.7 billion liters of water (see Apeel’s Sustainability webpage for more details on how we use LCA to quantify our impacts).
We will also continue to advance our data and insights offerings to complement our capabilities. For example, in May 2021, we announced our first acquisition: an advanced imaging technology that provides unparalleled access to the natural database inside of every piece of produce. We will continue to integrate this technology and make this data available to our partners.
Learn more about our funding news and our plans for innovation in our press release.