How SmartFresh™ advantages extend to retailers and consumers
Growers and packers rely on SmartFresh™ technology to deliver multiple benefits—from providing better firmness maintenance for highly ethylene sensitive fruits to protecting fruit quality for exports and long-distance transportation. But the benefits also extend directly to retailers and consumers, too.
Bringing benefits to retailers
SmartFresh provides improved shelf life of fruits in ambient temperatures. In French retail research studies, more than 80% of plums with SmartFresh technology maintained top quality after seven days compared to just 48% of control fruits. Marketing tests have proven that consumers come back for better quality fruit, thus retailers will see an increase in customer satisfaction.
AgroFresh’s traceability studies show that fruit shipped long distances arrives at stores in better condition. Additional benefits include compatibility with residue-free programs and the potential for higher profitability.
In addition, an AC Nielsen study in 24 stores in the Netherlands has proven that consumers recognize and appreciate the freshness, crunchiness and taste of SmartFresh quality apples. The comparison of 12 stores offering SmartFresh quality Elstar apples with 12 stores displaying regular Elstars over a three-month period has shown a 12% increase in sales volume.
The advantage for consumers
Taste tests in the U.S. and in several European countries have proven that among consumers, 70% prefer crunchiness, 60% prefer juiciness and two out of three consumers prefer SmartFresh quality fruit.
In addition, AC Nielsen’s in-store taste tests* have shown a clear consumer preference for crunchier apples. The test apples were kept for 10 days at room temperature after controlled atmosphere storage.
85% of respondents preferred the crunchiness of the SmartFresh quality apples (firm to very firm fruits), versus 33% for the control apples.
Slows down loss of nutrition through the supply chain
Apples are a widely consumed, rich source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Nevertheless, research has shown that the Vitamin C content decreases very quickly and at least by 50% in over two months of storage and 10 days of shelf life at regular temperature.
Several studies have proven that SmartFresh technology contributes to slowing the decrease of Vitamin C throughout the whole apple supply chain. This is particularly the case if SmartFresh is used during ultra low oxygen storage. But even with all other traditional storage methods, there is consistent evidence that SmartFresh helps maintain the Vitamin C content in a number of crops.
For instance, French studies in 2007 on the Vitamin C content of SmartFresh kiwifruit compared to regular stored kiwifruit indicated 15 to 25% more Vitamin C in the SmartFresh kiwifruit. Other recent studies found positive results with regard to flavonoid content retention and antioxidant activity in SmartFresh™ quality apples and pears.
*AC Nielsen taste tests conducted with Austrian apples in four outlets of two major German retailers with more than 400 consumers in April 2007.