In the News

3 Ways Technology is Changing the Food Industry

Jan 25, 2016

Below is an aritcle published this week by Inc. Magazine on their website www.Inc.com that features Froozer CEO Rich Naha's take on the trends that are shaping the food industry in 2016. 
"Any company that survives for more than a couple of decades has almost certainly survived numerous drastic changes to their industry. Technology is a driving force of innovation today, challenging even the most established companies to modernize and reimagine how they stay relevant.

Taxi companies have been dealt a blow by companies like Uber and Lyft that utilize simple mobile applications, Airbnb has shaken up the hospitality industry, and young startups like Lesara are disrupting the retail industry. These industries are saturated with well-resourced corporate giants who did not anticipate small startups ever challenging their survival. They are all now scrambling to catch up.

No industry is impervious to the revolutions caused by technological advances. But some industries are slower than others to feel the influence of such revolutions. The food industry is one that is lagging behind others, plagued by archaic practices and an increasingly angry consumer base.

But technology and innovative ideas are finally catching up with consumer outrage. I spoke with Rich Naha, CEO of Froozer, about some of these small disruptions. Froozer is an example of a food company using technology to shake up the food industry. They've built technology that allows them to flash freeze fruits and vegetables, blend them together, and package them in their pure form - whole fruits and vegetables harvested at the peak of their nutritional value.

Here are the trends Rich Naha sees shaping the food industry in 2016:

Technology-Driven Accountability

In the past, brands could get away with misleading customers with erroneous labels and clever copywriting, but in today's connected world, that is becoming harder and harder for companies to do. Social media and smartphones have connected consumers to information about the harmful effects of certain ingredients, the source of products, and how things are made. This interconnectedness is demanding accountability from the food giants like they have never seen before.

Naha explained, "Campbell's Soup recently made headlines when they removed 13 ingredients from their traditional soup recipe. This was a decision made because of outcry from consumers, outcry that was becoming louder and damaging their brand." As this trend continues, brands will have no choice but to listen to the demands of their customers or they risk losing their standing in the market.

Research Is Changing The Conversation

Technology is enabling researchers to make new discoveries that are changing our understanding of nutrition. Big data in particular is revealing the consequences of certain foods that scientists did not previously understand. The FDA in recent years has been forced to issue updates on what we think is actually healthy. One of the biggest changes that Naha sees is the escalating war on sugar. "We are just now beginning to understand how horrible sugar is for our bodies. As we begin to understand these effects and the public starts paying attention, consumers will increasingly look for products that don't contain sugar."

Food Waste

According to reports Americans throw away over 40% of the food they purchase. As awareness around these issues continue to grow, innovative entrepreneurs will identify solutions. Froozer is one company that is working to innovate food production and mitigate food waste. According to Naha, the Froozer products can be made with the fruits and vegetables that many produce companies can't use - produce rejected for cosmetic reasons or because they are too ripe. Consumers pay more for their food because companies reject huge volumes of viable produce. Froozer has created a product that utilizes food that would normally be wasted.

Informed consumers will continue to grow the market for companies like Froozer and for countless other innovations that will meet the demand for sustainable, healthy food."

View the article in Inc.com
Read More →

News from the Federal Government Warns Against Excess Sugar Consumption

Jan 9, 2016

This time of year many Americans are focused on creating resolutions that will lead to a healthier, happier lifestyle, and sugar consumption can have a big part in your overall health and weight. From obvious sugars in things such as sodas to hidden sugars that sneak their way into salad dressings and other seemingly healthy foods, sugar is everywhere, Read more here on the new 2010-2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that cautions against too much sugar consumption. 


 

Loan to Froozer Helps Bring Whole Produce to Schools, Hospitals

Nov 17, 2015

November 10, 2015

Obesity and diabetes rates in the United States have hit an all-time high. More than two in three American adults are considered overweight today, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a health research center. Children are no better off, reporting skyrocketing increases in new Type-2 diabetes cases; a condition previously unheard of in people under 30.

Ironically, many of the institutions tasked with keeping us healthy—hospital, schools, and nursing homes—have struggled to provide good nutrition for their stakeholders. This is particularly the case with fresh produce, where its perishability oftentimes prevents large purchases.

Enter Froozer, the grab-and-go frozen snack made from 100 percent whole fruits and vegetables. It tastes like soft-serve frozen yogurt, but contains no dairy, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives. Recently, RSF Social Finance provided Froozer with a line of credit that helps the social enterprise fulfill its ever increasing orders.

“Froozer is a fantastic fit for RSF because it addresses both health and food waste concerns with its operations,” says Kate Danahan, lending manager for RSF. 

Kids and fruits and veggies

When Froozer founders Arnold Zweben, David Klein, and Bruce Beutler approached Rich Naha, Froozer’s current chief executive officer, about the company, Rich had already been on a decade-long path to bring healthier food to Americans. His inspiration for this mission, interestingly enough, was found in the small Central American nation of Costa Rica.

“I lived in Costa Rica for three years when my kids were young,” says Rich. “Every day, I would watch them devour a huge plate of fresh fruit and vegetables, and was blown away with how healthy my kids wanted to eat.”

But when Rich and his family would visit the U.S., his three-year-old refused the cantaloupe and strawberries, and would turn to Goldfish crackers and Oreo cookies. When the family returned to Costa Rica, his children’s preferences reverted.

This light switch in behavior propelled Rich to learn more about where his family’s food was coming from. What he uncovered was an American food system degraded by its processing—affecting both taste and nutrition.
 

In response to his findings, Rich became a serial food entrepreneur, founding social enterprises like Circle Fresh Farms and the Circle Fresh Institute. Growing food the right way and getting it to the consumer quickly was the goal.

“When I met the folks at Froozer, it seemed like one step further. You can flash freeze the fruit at its peak ripeness to lock in that nutrition, taste and flavor, and store it for 15 months without any degradation to the product.”

Rich said that there are other products on the market, but repudiates those as mostly juices, concentrates and purees.

“Other fruit bars are created through a warm process, which starts the degradation and exposes the fruit to oxygen and heat,” explains Rich. “This breaks down the phytonutrients and fiber. Froozer is just whole fruit that’s been kept frozen the whole time. The fibers are intact, the phytonutrients are intact. It’s just like eating a bag of mixed frozen berries.”

Reducing food waste, increasing farmer income

Froozer was founded in 2003 with the explicit goal of recovering perfectly fine food in danger of rotting out in the fields. The price paid for “seconds” or “the ugly fruit” is sometimes so low that it is uneconomical to package and ship.

“This is the exact same fruit as the good looking fruit,” says Rich. “But a peach with an elongated bottom is worth a quarter of what its worth if it just looked better.”

Fruits and vegetables have the highest wastage rates, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“Think of how much labor, water and energy it takes to grow fruits and vegetables,” explains Kate. “Now throw 40 percent of all that effort away. That’s what we’re currently doing with our produce.”

By freezing this excess produce, Froozer is also able to help farmers when gluts in the market drive prices downward. And for the consumer, Froozer offers a highly nutritious product that even the biggest institutional buyers can use and store.

Students in the Dallas Independent School District, for example, are now able to enjoy Froozer snacks during lunch. The district has committed to serving 350,000 Froozer sticks per month. Hospitals are another institutional buyer where Froozer has entered the market. Children’s Hospitals in both Denver and Portland now serve the tasty fruit snack.

More in store

Froozer currently carries three products. Soon though, consumers will be seeing organic or medically specific lines of the frozen snack. Athletics is another potential growth area; think Froozers naturally fortified with protein or vitamins B6 and B12.

“Over the next two years, we’ll come out with a half dozen additional lines addressing specific needs in the nutrition space,” says Rich, his mind already on the next big food idea.

About Froozer

Based in Boulder, CO, Froozer sets out to create a whole new way of delivering healthy nutrition that is good for you and tastes great, while being mindful of the environment by reducing food waste. Froozer produces frozen snacks that represent the pure goodness of freshly harvested fruits & veggies picked at the peak of their ripeness, flash-frozen whole and blended for optimal taste, nutrition and digestion. Served at schools and hospitals, Froozer snacks contain no dairy, added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives. To learn more, visit www.froozer.com

Published by Megan Mendenhall

Source: http://rsfsocialfinance.org/2015/11/10/loan-to-froozer-helps-bring-whole-produce-to-schools-hospitals/

Read More →

Froozer Wins Best New Product at Kosherfest 2015

Nov 5, 2015

An imported pizza range from Italy and frozen fruit bars packed in Oregon are winners in Kosherfest 2015’s New Product competition.
Read More →

Parents, What's Really in Our Health Food?

Sep 22, 2015

Jessica Riley, from The Huffington Post, discusses Froozer's smart packaging design to make it easy for moms like her to pick healthy snacks for their families.
Read More →
Looking for something in particular?
Froozer Library

Check out these related articles & links:

What Happens When You Go Without Sugar for 10 Days?

McDonald’s Begins Closing Restaurants Across U.S. as Clean Food Movement Sweeps America

The 20 restaurants that received F grades for their meat supply

Testimonials

Share