Midwest grocery chain Meijer is testing a program that will offer its shoppers extreme discounts while also helping to combat the grocery industry’s $18,000,000,000 food waste problem though a partnership with Canadian tech startup Flashfood.
Using the Flashfood app, shoppers can purchase produce, meat, seafood, and deli and bakery products approaching their “best by” date at half price. Orders are placed on the app, which are then packaged by Meijer associates and stored in a a refrigerator or storage rack in front of participating stores for customer pickup. The company’s press release notes that the program is currently limited to stores in the greater Detroit metro area and, if successful, will be rolled out to its 245 supercenters across the Midwest.
This is the latest initiative in Meijer’s ongoing effort to reduce food waste. In 2013 their Food Rescue program partnered every location to a local food bank, with over 10.6 million pounds of unsold products distributed to those food banks in 2018. Their press release also mentions efforts to minimize waste created during the manufacturing of its proprietary products: Waste from Meijer dairy facilities are being turned into animal feed, and fresh food byproducts are being turned into compost.