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Cost-of-living crisis drives food-waste app uptake among shoppers

The cost-of-living crisis has driven a surge in shoppers using food-waste apps as they attempt to cut costs, presenting an opportunity for convenience stores.

Head of business development for Gander, Stacey Williams, explained that the app quickly saw an “uptick in users” as food prices began to rise this year.

More than 600 convenience stores across the UK are paying Gander a monthly fee to successfully cut their waste by 85%.

Users are able to view reduced-to-clear products in real-time on an app, before visiting their local shop to make a purchase.

Participating retailers have the service integrated with their EPoS system, enabling them to receive wastage reports.

Williams explained how the current climate presents an opportunity for independent retailers who want to help their shoppers cut costs, but also want to improve their shrinkage.

“The cost-of-living crisis is at the forefront of everyone’s minds and this service gives customers the ability to purchase reduced waste locally,” he said. “Shoppers are seeing an average saving of 56% on their weekly food shop.

“Partnered retailers are able to track the life of a reduction from the very beginning to end, while receiving granular analytics on specific products and categories to help them better understand their pricing and shrinkage policies.”

The company developed a charity redistribution function last year that enables retailers to team up with a local charity or food bank to donate any unsold products to.

“We set this up and share contact details, so the retailer can arrange for the unsold products to either be dropped off or collected,” said Williams. “There will always be some element of food waste, and this goes an extra step to reduce it further.”

When asked whether retailers had to meet any criteria to sign up to Gander’s platform, Williams revealed: “It’s important for the store to have a reasonable amount of fresh produce and waste occurring, and that they actually do a formal reductions process whereby they generate a yellow label, as we use this unique barcode to track and service the product on our app.”

Aside from continuing to grow its network of convenience stores, the company also intends to enable shoppers to view its real-time products on a web browser, alongside its popular app.

“At the end of January, users will be able to use Gander on a website,” said Williams. “This idea came off the back of the cost-of-living crisis, which meant some people don’t have access to smartphones, but they are still able to take advantage of the service by accessing a computer.

“There is also the chance for us to integrate this with our independent retailers who already have their own website.”


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