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05/06/2022

1M Pounds of Diverted Food Waste and Counting for Meijer

Retailer shares impact of Flashfood initiative across its stores
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
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Meijer reported that its shoppers who use the Flashfood app have redirected more than 1 million pounds of potential food waste since 2021.

One retailer that is using the Flashfood sustainability program is hailing it as a sustainability success story.  Midwestern retailer Meijer said that the initiative has diverted more than 1 million pounds of potential food waste over the past year.

Meijer pilot tested the program in 2019 and added several more Flashflood stations to all stores across its multistate footprint in 2021. During the pilot period alone, the company found that food waste was cut by 10%.

Flashfood, which has partnered with chain and independent retailers around the country over the past several years, offers shoppers an opportunity to get good deals on fresh and packaged products nearing their sell-by dates. Customers use the Flashfood app to order the food and pick it up at a designated in-store station.

"Minimizing food waste is a priority for us at Meijer, and we're constantly looking for ways to cut down on landfill use and the production of greenhouse gases," said Erik Petrovskis, director of environmental compliance and sustainability at Meijer. "Flashfood has been an exciting addition to our stores, and I'm happy to see that the program is so effective in benefiting not just the environment, but also our customers."

As it tallies the amount of potential food waste kept out of landfills, Meijer shared other progress toward its sustainability goals on the heels of Earth Month in April. The retailer recently revealed that it aims to cut carbon emissions in half over the next three years and is planning an inaugural sustainability supplier summit in June.

Toronto-based Flashfood, for its part, is also working to make a bigger environmental impact. The company noted that it is expanding its partnership with Ahold Delhaize USA, working with several Food Lion stores, and recently broadened its collaboration with SpartanNash to include 44 new locations in Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska.

Funding is also rolling in to support Flashfood. Earlier this year, the mobile marketplace secured $12.3 million in fresh series A funding to propel further expansion across the grocery landscape.

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer operates more than 260 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 18 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food retailers in North America. Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. Its parent company, Ahold Delhaize USA, a division of Zaandam, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize operating more than 2,000 stores across 23 states, is No. 10 on The PG 100. No. 39 on PG's list, Grand Rapids-based SpartanNash distributes grocery products to independent and chain retailers, its corporate-owned retail stores, and U.S. military commissaries and exchanges, as well as distributing fresh produce and processing fresh food. 

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