Nearly 200 IGA stores in Quebec are offering customers a way to help reduce food waste. The FoodHero app allows shoppers to buy unsold products that are still edible but near the consume-by date at costs that are 25% to 60% lower. This helps customers save money and helps grocers reduce both the economic and environmental (CO2 emissions) costs associated with producing, transporting and sending unsold products to landfills.
“We are very proud to collaborate with a Quebec tech company such as FoodHero and we want to highlight the active involvement of our store owners in the program. Their efforts enabled us to roll out this anti-food waste initiative very quickly, offering an additional alternative to nearly 200 IGA locations across Quebec,” said Carl Pichette, VP of marketing for Sobeys Inc.
To use, customers download the app, select the one of the IGA locations and choose the products they want. Then they simply go to the store to pick up the FoodHero bag at a selected time or when they receive notification that the order is ready. The app features new deals every day, including meat and fish, fruits and vegetables, dairy, eggs and even prepared meals.
Downloads of the app have continued to increase, according to FoodHero founder Jonathan Defoy. “Food waste is becoming a major concern for more and more Quebecers, and FoodHero is a simple, concrete solution that lets them act on it, on a daily basis if they want. We’re very happy it’s been so popular with IGA customers,” he said.
The Commission for Environmental Cooperation found that there is 168 million metric tons of food loss and waste in North America each year. Of that amount, Americans waste 415 kilograms per capita, Canadians waste 396 kilograms per capita and Mexicans waste 249 kilograms per capita. Food loss refers to food that is intended for human consumption but is reduced in quantity or quality due to inefficiencies in the food supply chain, while food waste refers to food for human consumption that is thrown away due to intentional behaviors.