Hy-Vee and Zest Labs Tests Fresh Produce Traceability
SAN JOSE, CA – 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. Hy-Vee will kick off the partnership by testing Zest Fresh’s metrics on its premium supplier of seedless Holiday® grapes.
“We are excited to work with Zest Labs to determine how Zest Fresh can help both monitor and improve freshness, while providing complete traceability through the cold supply chain,” said John Griesenbrock, Hy-Vee’s Vice President, Produce/Health Markets, in a press release. “With traceability support, we will become even more invested in bringing the freshest and highest-quality produce to our customers.”
According to a press release, Zest Labs has proven to reduce waste from spoilage by more than 50 percent of grocers via its freshness metrics, known as its ZIPR Code. Committed to providing high-quality natural, organic, and locally sourced products, Hy-Vee’s partnership with Zest Labs will not only help reduce food waste, but also empower its customers to learn more about the source of their food.
“Hy-Vee has always put high quality and consumer confidence at the forefront of everything they do, which makes them an ideal partner for us,” said Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs. “By working closely with growers, we’re all creating true transparency throughout the entire cold chain and ensuring only the freshest products arrive at their stores a complete record of the product through every step in the cold chain.”
Will the freshness metric catch on with more grocery retailers as the industry works to provide consumers with high-quality fresh produce? AndNowUKnow will continue to report as the produce industry continues to work hand-in-hand with forthcoming technologies.