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Meijer Aims To Reduce Food Waste With App-Based Pilot Program

Meijer's new Hudsonville store, Dematic, Meijer app, Flashfood

In an effort to cut down on in-store food waste, Meijer is testing an app at select locations of its Metro Detroit supercenters that allows customers to purchase food nearing its best-buy date at a reduced price.

Customers can purchase close-dated fresh food items, including meat, produce, seafood, deli and bakery products on the Flashfood app at up to 50 percent off, and then pick them up at the Brighton, Waterford, Commerce and Howell Meijer stores. The purchased food will be stored in a refrigerator or storage rack located in the front of each of the participating Meijer stores until picked up by the customer.

“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 VP of Fresh for Meijer. “We are excited to work with Flashfood and learn how much food can be spared from landfills.” 

Flashfood is a Canadian-based company that allows retailers to upload surplus close-dated foods to an app that are available for purchase. Customers go to the app, select a Meijer store, choose the items they want to purchase and pay for them 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. 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,” said Josh Domingues, founder and CEO of Flashfood.

In addition to testing the Flashfood app, Meijer has a Food Rescue program that donated more than 10.6 million lb. of food in 2018 to local food banks. Meijer also has 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, Indiana, and Lansing, Michigan, 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.”

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