The store labels fruit and vegetables so that customers know which items to store together for best results
Spotted: Food waste is responsible for 6 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and fruits and vegetables have the highest rate of wastage of any food category. This high rate of spoilage is due, in large part, to ethylene, a natural gas emitted as produce grows. All fruits and vegetables tolerate ethylene differently, with some producing lots of it while others are extremely sensitive to its presence. This means that it matters which fresh produce we store together. Different combinations can have a dramatic impact on the rate of ripening.
Now, Colombian supermarket Carulla has conducted a public awareness campaign to bring the science of spoilage to the fruit bowl and the vegetable drawer. The campaign, which was developed in partnership with Ogilvy Colombia, labels different items with either a ‘plus’ or a ‘minus‘, depending on whether they produce more or less ethylene.
Consumers can then easily see which fruits and vegetables to store together depending on whether they want their produce to ripen quickly or last longer. For example, storing two pluses together will accelerate the ripening process whereas two minuses can be stored together for longer.
The system was rolled out in the supermarkets’ stores and information on how it works was shared through social media. Moreover, online shoppers can have their fruits and vegetables delivered in different bags according to their classification.
Other food waste innovations recently spotted by Springwise include a platform that stops imperfect food from going to waste in Mexico, AI that checks the freshness of food, and a system to help commercial kitchens manage food waste.
Written By: Matthew Hempstead