US-based retailer Meijer deploys an innovative system to combat food waste in all of its stores. Shoppers who have Flashfood installed on their smartphones, can use the app to find products that are about to reach their expiry date. They can order these items and pay via app. They can then pick up their goods at a special refrigerated shelf in the entrance area of the store.
Since late 2019, the retailer had been piloting the programme in some of its supercentres in metropolitan Detroit. This way, the retailer could reduce its food waste by more than 10 percent. Now Meijer is rolling out Flashfood across all of its stores.
Both consumers and retailers can benefit
Flashfood is a Canadian start-up company. Retailers can use the platform to upload surplus close dated food at a discount price. Users of the Flashfood app can, for example, find discounted meat, fruit and vegetables, dairy products or baked goods on sale in their vicinity.
So far, the Flashfood app is being used by consumers and retailers in Canada and the USA. In addition to a number of smaller businesses, Loblaws in Canada and Giant in the US offer the service to their customers. For consumers, this is an opportunity to buy quality food at a very low price. Retailers will also benefit. They can find additional buyers for goods they would otherwise have to dispose of. It is to be hoped that more retailers will follow this example helping to curb food waste.