Taylor Sokol has been named to the newly created position of director of foodservice for Apeel Sciences, Goleta, Calif.
Sokol will focus on commercial and non-commercial foodservice customers, and play an integral role in the company’s growth on a global scale, according to a news release.
Before joining Apeel, Sokol worked at plant-forward start up Caulipower, providing foodservice guidance. He has also had sales and market development roles at Ocean Hugger Foods, J.R. Simplot Co., Flagship Food Group and Sysco, according to the release.
Apeel has expanded the use of its product with avocados and other new produce categories with Kroger, according to the release. In addition, Apeel’s coating is being used on produce sold at Edeka retail stores in Germany and at retail stores in the Salling Group in Denmark.
With Sokol’s hiring, Apeel is extending its shelf-life product beyond retail, according to the release.
"At Apeel, we’re constantly uncovering ways for the food supply chain to realize new value from longer-lasting produce,” CEO James Rogers said in the release. "For foodservice operators and their staff, Apeel's longer-lasting produce means every order can be maximized and business operations can become more flexible and efficient. This is equally great news for growers who will have an easier time selling ‘the whole tree’."
According to estimates from the Natural Resources Defense Council, restaurants in the U.S. generate an estimated 22-33 billion pounds of food waste each year, and non-commercial institutions including schools, hotels and hospitals generate an additional 7-11 billion pounds per year.
Sokol said in the release that Apeel is at the forefront of addressing food waste.
“It’s an exciting time to join as we help foodservice distributors and operators reduce waste while enabling them to serve consumers delicious food with better quality produce made possible by Apeel.”