Connecting Consumers with Discounts to Reduce Food Waste

  1. Technology (http://greennewdeal.eu/green-economy/successes/zero-gachis-the-challenge-to-change-supermarkets.html)

Zéro Gâchis, a French web and mobile application, provides a platform for businesses to inform consumers in real-time when those businesses have food reaching expiration. This food can then be purchased by app users at discounted prices. It uses geo-location to connect users with the discounts in their area. App users can also gain points on the site each time they take advantage of discounts. These points can be converted into cash and directed towards food waste charities such as Banque Alimentaire.

  1. Sustainability Problem

This technology aims to close the information gap between consumers and food providers, producing a win-win solution for both. Consumers will be able to purchase soon-to-expire food at discounted rates while supermarkets can reduce the amount of food that goes to waste if not sold. France throws away approximately 750, 000 tonnes of perishable food annually. This app has been able to successfully decrease food waste by 50% in some of its participating supermarkets.
As such reducing the amount of food wasted translates into a reducing the environmental footprint associated with food production. In France, it is estimated that food alone is responsible for 20% of greenhouse gas emissions everyday. This app will help decrease the waste of food and resources that go into its production.

zero-gachis-supermarche

  1. Stakeholders
  • Supermarkets and Food providers
  • Food waste charities
  • Consumers
  1. Implementation Process

Launched in 2011, the startup has grown since and are now also operating in Spain. Their business model has evolved to become more economically sustainable after engaging with various mentors and joining “Le Camping”, a French business incubator. They kept the service free for consumers but began to charge participating supermarkets a monthly subscription. Despite the fee, Zéro Gâchis has been able to engage with more supermarkets who understand the value of the application – it allows them to better manage and clear their inventory, reducing the amount of food that goes to waste due to expiration. This money allows the startup to continue to develop and improve existing services. With a bigger network, the startup can aim to expand their reach in France, Spain and consider moving into other countries.

 

Sources:

Unilever Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneur Awards 2014, Zero Gachis: Solutions to help supermarkets reduce food wastage: https://www.changemakers.com/discussions/entries/zero-gachis.

Netexplo Forum 2013, ZERO GACHIS (France) ENGLISH: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xx9hxw_zero-gachis-france-english-netexplo-forum-2013_tech.

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3 thoughts on “Connecting Consumers with Discounts to Reduce Food Waste

  1. It would be interesting to know how use of this technology is being affected by the recent food waste law in France which prohibits throwing out food and encourages donations to food banks. I can see scenarios where supermarkets would prefer this technology because it enables them a) actually sell the food and b) coordinate smaller volume donations to food banks. On the other hand, maybe some members of the public would be against the technology because they want “food waste” going to food banks where it can be free instead of just discounted.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/04/french-law-forbids-food-waste-by-supermarkets

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  2. Love this technology, but am not sure how many consumers would want to buy food that is about to expire–even if it is discounted. It could greatly reduce food waste though if adapted.

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  3. Love this idea and think it would be great if similar technology is implemented in the U.S. Food waste is a global problem and the labeling practices are partly to blame. A lot of food is fine for consumption but confusing and often inaccurate date labels cause consumers to throw out good food.

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