Meijer Announces Expansion Of Flashfood Program to All Stores Across Footprint
- by Lilian Diep
GRAND RAPIDS, MN - Cutting down on food waste while also delivering on consumer needs are two important goals in our industry, and Meijer is meeting that in spades. After COVID-19 caused delays in rolling out Flashfood to all its stores across the Midwest in 2020, Meijer is now on track to complete the implementation of the food waste reduction program this year.
“Minimizing in-store food waste is the right thing to do for our communities and our customers,” said Don Sanderson, Group Vice President of Foods for Meijer. “We’re pleased to expand our relationship with Flashfood throughout our footprint and offer this opportunity to all our customers.”
While also cutting down on in-store food waste, the initiative allows customers to purchase food nearing its sell-by date—like produce, deli, and bakery products—at up to 50 percent off on the Flashfood app, and then pick them up at Meijer stores.
According to the release, 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. To date, an estimated 240 Meijer supercenters have Flashfood.
“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, Flashfood. “Meijer continues to show its commitment to supporting the communities it serves through reducing waste and creating value. It is moving fast to make an impact by launching Flashfood in all of their stores. We look forward to serving so many more communities and getting them access to amazing deals while reducing food waste.”
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 select a Meijer store through the app, choose the items they want to purchase, and pay for them directly for up to 50 percent off. Then, they go into stores 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 store 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. The retailer 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; fresh food byproducts from Middlebury, Indiana, and Lansing, Michigan, are sent for anaerobic digestion and being turned into compost.
Where will we see this pilot spread to next, and will we see it in more retailers? AndNowUKnow will keep an eye on the newswires.