Reducing in-store food waste: purchasing food nearing its sell-by date
22. February 2021 | Food Service Equipment, News, Shopping Today

Rollout of Flashfood program to all Meijer stores across the Midwest

An automated kiosk in a grocery store

© Meijer

After COVID-19 caused delays in rolling out Flashfood to all its stores across the Midwest in 2020, Meijer is on track to complete implementation of the food waste reduction program this year. While also cutting down on in-store food waste, the initiative allows customers to purchase food nearing its sell-by date – like meat, produce, seafood, deli and bakery products – at up to 50 percent off on the Flashfood app, and then pick them up at Meijer stores.

The retailer launched the app-based pilot program in November 2019 at a handful of Meijer supercenters in Metro Detroit. After reducing in-store food waste by 10 percent, Meijer opted to expand the offering to all its stores across the Midwest, in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin. To date, an estimated 240 Meijer supercenters have Flashfood.

Flashfood is a Canadian-based company that allows retailers to upload surplus close-dated foods to their app where items are available for purchase at a deep discount. Customers go to the app, select a Meijer store, choose the items they want to purchase and pay for them directly on the app at up to 50 percent off. Then, they go in store to pick up their items and confirm their order with customer service. The purchased food is stored in a refrigerator or storage rack located in the front of the story until picked up by the customer.

This is the latest effort in the retailer’s commitment to sustainability. Meijer has a Food Rescue program that donated 13.2 million pounds of food in 2020 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 in Tipp City, Ohio and Holland, Michigan are being turned into animal feed, and fresh food byproducts from Middlebury, Ind. and Lansing, Mich. are sent for anaerobic digestion and being turned into compost.

Source: Meijer

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