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Meijer diverts 1 million-plus pounds of store waste — here’s how

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Meijer’s Flashfood program allows customers to purchase food nearing its sell-by date at up to 50% off.

Meijer is diverting waste with the help of its customers.

The retailer has diverted more than 1 million pounds of potential food waste through its Flashfood sustainability initiative. The program allows customers to purchase food — including meat, produce, seafood, deli, dairy and bakery products — nearing its sell date at up to 50% off, preventing it from potentially going into landfills.

Meijer launched Flashfood as a pilot program in November 2019 at a handful of its supercenters in metro Detroit. After reducing in-store food waste by 10%, Meijer expanded the initiative to all its stores in 2021.

Flashfood is a Canadian-based company that allows retailers to upload surplus close-dated grocery items to its app, where the items are available for purchase. Customers can go to the app, select a Meijer store, choose items they want to purchase and pay for them directly on the app. The customers then go to the store to pick up their items and confirm their order with customer service.

"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."

Meijer said the program represents its commitment to offering both sustainability and value to its customers. The retailer has set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 50%. As part of its commitment, Meijer is investing in renewable solar energy. The company will also hold its first-ever Sustainability Supplier Summit in June.

Meijer operates more than 260 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

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