U.S. retailer Meijer is testing an app that it says could cut down on in-store food waste.
The app does this by allowing customers to purchase food nearing its best-by date at a reduced price.
The Michigan-based company will trial the Flashfood app at a handful of its Metro Detroit supercenters. Customers can purchase close-dated fresh food items on the app with a discount of up to 50%.
The purchased food will be stored in a refrigerator or storage rack stores until pick-up.
“Food is at the core of what we do, and we are constantly looking at ways to minimize in-store waste because it’s the right thing to do for our communities and our customers,” said Don Sanderson, group vice president of fresh for Meijer.
“We are excited to work with Flashfood and learn how much food can be spared from landfills.”
Canada-based Flashfood allows retailers to upload surplus close-dated foods to an app that are available for purchase.
Customers use the app to select a store, choose the items they want and pay directly on the app. Then, they go in store to pick up their items and confirm their order with customer service.
“Bringing the Metro Detroit community the ability to buy such great food at huge discounts while reducing food waste is exciting," said Josh Domingues, founder & CEO of Flashfood.
"Meijer is a well-respected market leader focusing on innovation and it’s evident through our partnership. Both teams are thrilled about the impact we’re bringing to market in this pilot."
Other waste-reduction programs from Meijer
In addition, Meijer has a Food Rescue program that donated more than 10.6 million pounds of food in 2018 to local food banks. Meijer has also put food waste created during the manufacturing process of its foods to better use.
For example, waste from Meijer dairy facilities is being turned into animal feed. And fresh food byproducts are sent for anaerobic digestion and being turned into compost.
“Reducing food waste is an important goal at Meijer,” said Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability for Meijer.
“There are creative solutions throughout a food’s life cycle that can reduce landfill use and production of greenhouse gases, and I’m pleased we’re looking at another in-store option that benefits our customers.”