Save Money, Reduce Waste

Meijer

2. Zero Hunger 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production 17. Partnerships for the Goals

Overview

Meijer is a Michigan-based retailer that owns over 245 stores throughout six Midwest states. Since 1934, Meijer’s has been driven by their mission to be a good neighbor to both the communities they serve and the environment. Following their environmental commitment plan, Meijer has recently teamed up with the mobile app Flashfood to reduce in-store waste and divert as much waste as possible away from landfills.

Author

Bailey Harris

Bailey Harris

School

Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University

Professor

Timothy Palmer

Timothy Palmer

Innovation

Meijer recently launched a successful pilot program with the help of Flashfood that has reduced in-store waste by over 10 percent. This program was tested at four stores located in the Detroit area, and Meijer is planning on expanding the program to all of their stores by the end of the year. Through the Flashfood app, customers can purchase food nearing its sell by date for up to 50 percent off, and then pick it up at their local Meijer. Don Sanderson, Vice President of Meijer Fresh stated, “In just a few months, we diverted thousands of pounds of food from landfills, minimizing in-store food waste is the right thing to do for our communities and our customers. We're excited to expand upon these efforts and offer this opportunity to all our customers."

Save Money, Reduce Waste

Inspiration

Meijer is committed to waste reduction, pollution prevention, and recycling. Through their multi-level approach to food waste management, Meijer is working to keep waste from occurring, donating food to feed the hungry, and transforming food waste into value-added products rather than sending them to the landfill.

Meijer’s latest innovation with Flashfood is part of their sustainability program which was inspired by their goals to reduce waste and help their communities. Richard Harris, Senior Software Engineer at Meijer commented, “The partnership and efforts made between Meijer and Flashfood are indicative of how important sustainability is for the two companies and the customers they serve. Within three months of testing, Meijer made the decision to expand the program storewide and give all of their customers the opportunity to save money while reducing waste.”


Overall impact

Meijer is embedded in a culture of social and corporate responsibility. The Meijer family has made countless substantial impacts on communities in Michigan throughout the years, and they have continued this legacy through the services and opportunities offered by their retail stores.

Meijer and Flashfood have empowered their customers to make a difference and challenge the wasteful aspects of shopping. According to Josh Domingues, the founder of Flashfood, “Our team is really impressed with Meijer's pace, their exceptional ability to execute with us and their commitment to meaningfully reduce in-store food waste in their communities. I can't wait for more Meijer customers to have access to the Flashfood app, save money on their groceries and collectively reduce food waste in an innovative, fun way."

Business benefit

Millions of pounds of food are landfilled each year in the United States, products that could not be sold because they were nearing their sell by dates make up a large portion of this waste. Meijer and Flashfood’s innovation has allowed both companies to sell food that would have normally been wasted for a discounted rate. When asked about the costs faced by the two businesses, Richard Harris stated, “Of course there are always costs associated with innovations, but both companies are firm supporters of the idea that the environmental impact is worth the price.”

Social and environmental benefit

Meijer was able to divert 60 percent of its food waste away from landfills in 2018, and has donated over 13 million pounds of food over the past year to food banks. During the three month test pilot for the program, thousands of pounds of food was diverted from landfills.The amount of food wasted will continue to diminish as the program is released to all Meijer stores, and more customers will be able to help make a difference in our environment.

Interview

Richard Harris, Senior Software Engineer

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Meijer

Meijer

Grand Rapids, Michigan, US

Business Website: https://www.meijer.com/

Year Founded: 1934

Number of Employees: 10000+

Meijer Inc. is an American supercenter chain throughout the Midwest, with its corporate headquarters in Walker, Michigan. Founded in 1934 as a supermarket chain, Meijer is credited with pioneering the modern supercenter concept in 1962, and now currently owns over 245 stores in the Midwest.