Limoneira strikes exclusive deal with Apeel Sciences
Santa Paula-based Limoneira, a grower of lemons and avocados, has signed an exclusive licensing relationship with Apeel Sciences, the Goleta-based company that has developed a system for increasing the shelf life of fresh produce, the company announced May 11.
According to the press release, Limoneira believes Apeel’s technology will open additional channels and market opportunities for the company.
Apeel was founded in 2012 by James Rogers who is still acting as the company’s CEO.
Apeel’s goal is to eliminate the vast amount of food waste across the globe. It does this with a coating that can double or even triple the shelf life of fresh produce. The coatings are made of plant waste materials like seeds and stems, and protect produce from water loss and oxidation.
This non-GMO, edible, plant-based coating maintains moisture for longer and reduces oxidation preventing spoilage throughout the supply chain.
For Limoneira, this would mean their lemons would remain juicier for longer and retain their color for longer as well.
Limoneira will be Apeel’s first fully integrated lemon supplier in the U.S. and it will significantly expand the availability of Apeel-protected lemons domestically and internationally through Limoneira-affiliated packing facilities and through licensing management, the company said in a press release.
“We are excited to be working with Apeel to generate greater supply chain flexibility, maintain higher quality lemons, decrease costs, and reduce waste all to the benefit of our growers, customers, shoppers, and the environment.” Harold Edwards, CEO of Limoneira, said in a press release. “Since 1893, Limoneira has been a leader in the ‘what’s next’ category and we see offering Apeel-protected lemons as a truly natural next step to continue delivering the World’s Best Lemons.”
In product trials leveraging Apeel’s technology, Apeel-protected lemons showed a significant difference and exhibited reduced water loss, shrivel, and color change or “bronzing”, including when tested in ambient conditions.
“Apeel’s technology brings with it a new set of opportunities for the category and Limoneira’s customers,” Rogers said in a press release. “Growers working with Limoneira can expect access to new channels of distribution, Retailers can expect energy and cost savings during warehousing and distribution, and Consumers can expect an experience they need to see to believe.”
Limoneira shares have remained flat since the announcement before the markets opened, with shares hovering above $16.