Towards zero food waste

Phenix

2. Zero Hunger 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Phenix has developed an anti-waste app to offer second life for unsold items. In this app, one can buy at small prices unsold food, flowers or cosmetics, mainly from local shops. With this initiative, Phenix offers an alternative to waste but also an affordable and responsible way of consuming.

Author

Camille Arribas

Camille Arribas

School

York University- Schulich School of Business

York University- Schulich School of Business

Professor

Charles Cho

Charles Cho

Innovation

The innovation offered by Phenix is a mediation platform for perishable item waste between local shops and consumers. This anti-waste app offers value for both local shopkeepers and consumers and creates a win-win partnership for shopkeepers, consumers, and the planet. Indeed, with this platform, anyone can purchase items at discounted prices in order to save them from the disposal. The benefits produced are clear for every stakeholder: less waste for storekeepers resulting in less financial losses, affordable shopping and responsible consumption for consumers and fewer resources extraction for the planet.

In concrete terms, shopkeepers propose baskets in the application composed of unsold items of the day. The range of shopkeepers registered in the application is very broad and offers an abundance of choices for consumers: bakeries, butcher's, fruit and vegetable shops, cheese shops, flower shops... On average, the baskets are sold at 50% less than their regular value. Thus, consumers can act responsibly for the planet while saving money by securely purchasing these baskets on the app. Once the payment is made in the application, the consumer can pick-up its basket from the shop.

More globally, this app encourages responsible consumption and is part of the battle against hunger. Indeed, we produce nowadays more than we consume and this innovation tries to balance and to regulate this imbalance.

Towards zero food waste

Inspiration

Phenix truly believes that almost expired or slightly misshapen items don't deserve to be thrown away. Historically, the company offers services to prevent wood waste from supermarkets and hypermarkets and to enhance donations for charity organizations. However, in this fight against food waste, this service was not sufficient as it didn't include local shops and private consumers. From this assessment, Phenix's app was born

Indeed, when it comes to small quantities, it is not relevant anymore to encourage donations to charity organizations because this kind of donation is not profitable for consequent organizations. As Charlotte explained "big charity organizations don't move for less than 50 meals, and local shops such as bakeries will never have 50 meals leftover. More, when it comes to fresh food, organizations are not always equipped with refrigerated trucks to pick-up such items. For these reasons, food donations are not very common for local small shops". This assessment inspired and motivated the development of the application as one piece of the puzzle to achieve the zero-food waste target.

More, Phenix wanted to spread their belief and convictions among citizens and the development of this application was one way to do so. Indeed, this initiative was also inspired by the will of becoming more visible and known in order to play a decisive role in awareness.

Overall impact

Since the launch of the app, 400 000 individuals have registered in and 150 000 baskets have already been saved from the disposal. Thus, Phenix's app is keeping its promise: reducing food waste.

In the short term, this innovation offers positive financial benefits for storekeepers and consumers. More, this app offers thriving perspectives for the business itself and Phenix's reputation. Indeed, with this application, Phenix is reaching new markets and consumers. This new service in the B2C market had offered new and crucial visibility to the firm.

In the long term, Phenix wants to spread its app in every main city and France and in some European countries. This innovation enhances the core business and mission of Phenix and, by doing so, has substantial economic, social and ecological impacts.

Business benefit

For now, the innovation is mainly supported by fundraising but offers promising perspectives for the business. Indeed, with this new product, Phenix is playing in new markets keeping in mind its final objective, to end food waste. Thus, Phénix's app has created new business perspectives, especially with local food stores for the company.

More, as Charlotte explained, this innovation not only offered new financial perspectives but it enhances as well the firm's reputation: "As the app is a B2C operation, it gives new visibility and new dimension to the company." Indeed, the app is the advertising banner of the company and contributed to made Phenix famous in France. Eventually, the firm succeeded in several fundraising to develop this application which opened new investment opportunities.

Social and environmental benefit

Phenix's app contributes to raise awareness about waste and to fight the systemic issues linked to it. As mentioned in Phenix's web site, "one-third of what we produce is produced for... nothing. In other words, a third of the energy and resources necessary for production, transportation, and distribution of our food is thrown in the trash! Waste is an environmental/social/economic absurdity.".

Indeed, food production is the biggest source of GHG emission in the world and, according to Phenix's web site "if food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.". Thus, by reducing food waste, this innovation avoids useless resource extraction but also useless GHG emissions. In other words, the app gives sense to the whole process of production of unsold items and prevents it from being wasted.

More, Phenix estimates that food waste could in France feed 10 million people, more the 8.8 million people in need. Thus, by operating to prevent food waste, Phenix is solving economic, social and ecological issues.

Interview

Charlotte Besnard, Sales representative

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Phenix

Paris, Paris, FR

Business Website: https://wearephenix.com/en/

Year Founded: 2014

Number of Employees: 51 to 200

Phenix strives to end food waste and to find second life for waste. This French company offers consulting services for supermarkets to develop food donations for charitable organizations serving persons in need. On the other hand, Phénix's application enables consumers to develop new habits and to prevent food waste from local grocery shops.