Meijer wants to help consumers identify which avocados are the best to choose from with a new pilot program.
The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer recently shared that it has begun working with avocado suppliers to establish a pilot program that perfects the avocado ripening process.
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“When a customer buys avocados, they want to enjoy them within few days, so our team is excited our new approach is beginning to make a difference,” Kris Pedres, produce buyer for Meijer said. “Many customers understand the benefits, but there are others who are hesitant or would only order guacamole in a restaurant. We wanted to remove the guesswork and frustration. We wanted to make sure any customer choosing an avocado can always find one consistent in quality, size and taste.”
This pilot program encompasses a large room for ripening avocados at its distribution center in Lansing, Mich., where conditions can be regulated so every avocado ripens consistently, the company said.
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Through this process, which is monitored by Meijer Quality Control members, each avocado delivered to its stores is at the earliest stage of ripeness and has a better chance to reach consumers’ homes just as they are ready for consumption.
Meijer’s Quality Control team monitors the entire process — from the time the avocados arrive to the distribution centers to when they are loaded onto trucks — in controlled environments.
An issue addressed by this pilot program includes the size of the avocado and how it correlates to serving sizes for customers counting calories or determining how many avocados are needed for guacamole or other meal ideas, the company said.
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“This pilot program is just one more example of Meijer team members innovating to enhance the Meijer shopping experience,” Ron Lovelace, director of produce for Meijer said. “In the spirit of continuing to offer solutions for our customers’ everyday needs, we believe this pilot program is a first step in making avocados a healthy option for anyone who walks into one of our stores.”