Meijer's Flashfood success story
April 06, 2022
(As part of Food Waste Prevention Week, today's story is the latest in a series from NextCycle that highlights the program's effort to attract end markets for recyclable materials through new companies and new jobs in Michigan, leveraging state dollars with private investment. NextCycle is an EGLE initiative.)
The Food Waste Challenge
In store food waste triggered by items exceeding the ‘sell by’ date costs grocery retailers billions annually and leads to tons of organic material being landfilled. To address this challenge, Meijer operates a multi-front strategy to reducing food waste, bringing value to its customers and helping communities.
The retailer’s adoption of a new technology solution, called Flashfood, builds on its long-standing commitment to waste diversion and sustainability. In 2020, Meijer donated an estimated 13.2 million pounds of food to food banks across the Midwest. Meijer also diverts food waste from manufacturing and retail operations for conversion to animal feed and compost.
Flashfood App Solution
With the Flashfood app, Meijer customers play a direct role in food diversion and sustainability while saving money by searching for deeply discounted food items nearing the ‘sell by’ date. Customers can buy meat, seafood, produce, deli, bakery and dairy, products for a discount of up to 50 percent.
It’s a win-win deal. Customers find great food and save money, and Meijer gains sales that otherwise might have been lost. And it’s easy. All customers have to do is download the Flashfood app to their smartphone then browse the deals, add the food items to their cart and check out. Customers pick up the food at the Meijer customer service counter where items are stored in a refrigerator or storage racks.
Meijer launched a pilot of this program in the fall 2019 and now offers Flashfood deals at all its stores across the Midwest. The momentum and success of the program continues to grow. So far, in 2021, an estimated 400,000 tons of food that might have gone to the landfill has been served for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We are incredibly excited to be rolling out with Meijer and to be expanding Flashfood all over Michigan and into Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Wisconsin,” said Eric Tribe, Chief Marketplace Officer at Flashfood. “Meijer continues to show their commitment to supporting the communities they serve through reducing waste and creating value. We look forward to serving so many more communities and getting them access to amazing deals while reducing food waste.”