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03/23/2022

Apeel Forms Retail Advisory Board

Grocery industry experts to support company’s growth, goal of building more sustainable fresh food system
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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The formation of Apeel's Retail Advisory Council comes at a time when the company’s supplier and retailer partnerships are rapidly expanding.

Food system innovation company Apeel has created a retail advisory board bringing together experts from the grocery industry. Led by VP of Retail Advisory Jim Smits, the council will work with the Goleta, Calif.-based company’s retailer partners to ensure that Apeel’s category management programs advance the retail industry in the areas of fresh innovation, consumer engagement and supply chain optimization. Apeel-protected produce aims to deliver higher unit sales, minimal waste and greater value to customers.

The formation of the council comes at a time when Apeel’s supplier and retailer partnerships are rapidly expanding – most recently it’s arrived on grocery shelves throughout the United Kingdom. With 40 retail partners across North America and Europe carrying Apeel produce from more than 40 supplier partners across thousands of stores around the globe, more consumers will be able to access longer-lasting fresh produce, including avocados, limes, lemons, oranges, mandarins, mangoes and organic apples.

With competitive demand for fresh, sustainable food on the rise, the newly appointed council will further bolster Apeel’s retail alliances and help ensure that retailer partners can offer a differentiated and quality experience to shoppers. The first three members of the eight-member council are Steve Mayer, SVP of merchandising at Raley’s of Arizona; Andy Adcock, whohas nearly 30 years of retail experience leading commercial operations and holding senior positions at Sainsbury’s, Asda, and multinational retailer Marks & Spencer; and TonyMitchell, VP corporate produce and floral at Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG) and an International Fresh Produce Association retail council member

“Retailers throughout Europe and North America are working hard to react to the rapidly changing buying behaviors and preferences of consumers as they look for more convenience, better value, and innovative products, especially in fresh,” noted Smits. “As such, grocers have new opportunities to provide a differentiating credential of sustainability, as well as a guarantee for longer-lasting quality, which is why we’re excited to pull together a team of experts to help us work with our retail partners to deliver the best fresh produce experience online and in stores.”

Apeel’s plant-based protection allows for longer-lasting produce by using materials already found in the skins, peels and seeds of all fruits and vegetables. This protective extra “peel” slows the water loss and oxidation that cause produce to spoil. The company’s plant-based protection is available for a growing number of categories and markets, including organic and conventionally grown produce. Further, Apeel is integrating new tools that will enable the food system to do more with the extra time created by the company’s plant-based protection.

Last September, Apeel was one of the recipients of Progressive Grocer’s inaugural Impact Awards, in the area of Sustainability/Resource Conservation.

Privately owned and family-run Raley’s operates more than 235 locations across four states and four Tribal Nations under eight banners: Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill Foods, Raley’s O-N-E Market, Bashas’, Food City, AJ’s Fine Foods and Bashas’ Diné Market. In addition, The Raley’s Cos. bridges the divide between the physical and digital retail experiences through the operation of Apium Logistics, Fieldera and FieldTRUE. The West Sacramento, Calif.-based company has more than 21,000 employees and is No. 61 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Kansas City, Kan.-based AWG serves 1,100 independent grocer member companies and 3,000-plus locations from eight wholesale divisions.

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