In this case study a manufacturer of postharvest edible food coatings engaged CPL Business Consultants to find technical development partners. Using its extensive networks CPL assembled an expert consulting team with specific, complementary skillsets to extend company’s product portfolio. The client was enabled to refine its offering in a cost-effective and low-risk manner, to help it maintain its competitive position. 

Postharvest Edible Food Coatings

Postharvest edible food coatings, also known as edible coatings or postharvest treatments, are thin layers of materials applied to the surface of fruits and vegetables after they have been harvested. These coatings serve several purposes to enhance the quality, extend the shelf life and ultimately add value to the fruits.


The client had a postharvest edible food coating for extending the shelf-life of whole fruit and vegetables. Interest in the client’s product had increased due to moves to decrease plastic packaging, especially in Europe. Companies like Apeel were gaining market share and the client’s portfolio, whilst effective, needed an update to maintain its competitive advantage. Given this renewed interest in clean label natural solutions, the client wanted to expand its product portfolio of edible coatings for fruit and vegetable fresh-life extension. It therefore sought technical partners with experience in these types of coatings, to help it expand its product offering.

The client engaged CPL Business Consultants to use its wide-ranging network to find expertise in postharvest edible coatings for food use on whole fruits and vegetables. The specific requirements were for postharvest coatings formulation expertise and regulatory expertise. CPL focussed its search on expertise in clean-label, sustainable food products rather than regulated agrochemical products.


CPL’s methodology included (i) defining a target list for referrals and potential partners, based on CPL’s networks and desk-based research. This was followed by (ii) contacting potential sources and partners, (iii) screening potential partners. Finally, (iv) CPL presented a short-list with strategic recommendations. CPL completed this project over a 4-week time period.


CPL conducted a global search for experts in postharvest edible food coatings, drawing up a short-list of ~70 potential technical partners. Following discussions with the client, CPL put together a team of three individuals with complementary skill-sets in postharvest food coatings which could achieve the clients objectives on a consultancy basis.

CPL has also worked on the fresh-life extension of produce, and post harvest insect control. Related topics include the sucrose esters market (sucrose esters are used in food coatings).  Our sister company CPL Executive Search also offers search and selection services for senior posts. You can find other relevant projects by browsing this site or also using the search bar on this page. Have a look at our Introduction and Brochure for a description of our consultancy work. You can also review eight case studies.

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