Hazel Technologies Teases Next Stonefruit Category Innovation
- by Kayla Webb
CHICAGO, IL - Hazel Technologies' success is set in stone—stonefruit that is! After beginning its research in the category over two years ago, the ground-breaking industry partner is already making headway with new innovations to help growers, packers, shippers, and retailers protect the quality of their fresh produce.
I chatted with Patrick Flynn, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, to find out what’s next for Hazel Technologies as it continues to make a name for itself as a leading technology and packaging provider in the fresh produce industry.
“In addition to our Hazel™ post-harvest line of products, we’re working on developing exciting new pre-harvest quality technologies and, last week, we announced the launch of our Hazel™ Trex pre-harvest quality technology with Zespri, the largest kiwifruit distributor in the world, with over 4,200 growers worldwide. Any technology that helps growers, packers, and retailers have the best possible quality and the lowest possible amount of waste is a technology we are interested in providing,” Patrick shared with me. “We’re also investing in technologies further down the supply chain in order to expand the work we do with retailers. The big selling point with retailers is that over 150 suppliers globally are already using Hazel Tech® and seeing great results, so most retailers have many suppliers already using Hazel.”
One goal of Hazel Tech products is to improve the end-consumers' eating experience—which Patrick noted aligns with retailers’ goals as well. This, in addition to Hazel Tech’s emphasis on ease-of-use and investing in academic research, further differentiates the company as a key partner, especially to those looking to enhance the quality of stonefruit and other fresh produce categories.
The USDA is one of many industry leaders standing alongside Hazel Tech as it continues to make headway in the stonefruit category. In fact, the USDA helps to fund the company’s solutions, which Patrick revealed many growers advocated for because of how integral and functional Hazel Tech products are for the supply-side.
“A lot of the solutions on the market are more complex to implement. Hazel Tech, on the other hand, is about as simple as can be,” Patrick said. “The only thing that is simpler would be not doing anything. But, if you’re a grower or retailer, and you’ve decided quality is a priority, our products are true game-changers, and it’s about as simple and easy as you can get.”
One of the reasons why Hazel Tech has achieved such great results is an emphasis on academic research.
“We began our presence in the stonefruit category and other categories by conducting trials with universities like UC Davis, Oregon State University, and Cornell. We did our first trial with UC Davis in the summer of 2018 that examined the effect of our packaging on apricots from Washington, particularly looking out for quality and color retention, firmness, and shrink over a period of time,” Patrick explained. “Once we saw the results, that was when things started picking up for us in the stonefruit category. We began talking to growers and packers of stonefruit and building out new partnerships.”
With new innovations, partnerships, and ground-breaking research results coming down the pipeline, there’s no doubt that Hazel Technologies continues to be one to watch in the fresh produce industry. For more updates like this, keep reading AndNowUKnow.