Consumer-facing businesses, including restaurants and retailers, are responsible for 27% of food waste in the U.S., according to recent data from the ReFed Insights Engine. At 21%, farms aren’t far behind.
However, the data also indicates that the total amount of food waste has leveled off over the past few years, reported Forbes (Mar 31). This is due, in part, to the increased adoption of innovative digital services, like FlashFood and Full Harvest, that connect companies and consumers with excess food at reduced prices.
“Leveraging the data from B2B and B2C online platforms could help companies improve their ordering and inventory management to better meet supply and demand,” Angel Veza, Capital, Innovation & Engagement Senior Manager at ReFED told The Food Institute. “[This] resale trend will likely continue to gain popularity especially across food businesses that are looking for new revenue sources.”
Innovations for Consumers
- FlashFood – An app that enables shoppers to locate and purchase fresh food nearing its “best before” date at much lower prices. Several supermarkets have begun piloting the program, including Meijer, Stop & Shop, and The Giant Company.
- Too Good To Go – An app that lets consumers buy a “Magic Bag” of assorted food and drink from local retailers, restaurants and pubs at a reduced price. The service is currently available in several major cities across the U.S.
- DTC Produce – Companies like Imperfect Foods and Misfits Market deliver curated boxes of “ugly and imperfect” fruits and vegetables to consumers.
There are also several platforms where farmers, manufacturers, and food businesses can connect to increase the visibility of surplus food items for purchase or donation.
- Full Harvest – A digital marketplace that allows buyers, such as online retailers, cafes, and juice bars, to connect directly with farmers to access imperfect foods that would otherwise be discarded.
- Spoiler Alert – A sales and analytics platform that enables food and beverage brands to manage their liquidation process across a private network of discount retailers and nonprofit channels.
Kraft Heinz recently joined a growing number of companies that utilize Spoiler Alert to manage their B2B liquidation efforts, including The Campbell Soup Co., Danone, KeHE and HelloFresh, reported Food Business News (Mar 23).