This Week's Herman Trend Alert

The Humanity Factor

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 9, 2021

Mobile App Cuts Food Waste

Early in the Pandemic, due to major dislocations in the food supply chain, most of us saw or read about virtually tons of food being destroyed. Honestly, watching the mountains of produce being turned over and the millions of eggs and chickens being thrown away, I felt physically ill. To this day, many of those issues have yet to be solved. However, when I read about this ingenious mobile app, I cheered, and I knew I had to share it with you.

A Mobile Marketplace
The new app titled "Flash Food" is a mobile marketplace. Flash Food solves the problem of surplus food that would have expired and been dumped in a landfill. However, the app connects the extra food in grocery stores with local shoppers to help sell the expiring food. This app has already diverted over 50 million pounds of food from landfills.

How Flash Food Works
The app allows people to order and buy groceries at a discounted rate then pick them up from the participating stores. Launched in Canada, the company had successful rollouts this year in over a thousand stores. In the United States, there are participating in nine states: Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania; in Canada, there are participating stores in all ten provinces and one territory.

Where the Idea Came from. . .Wasted Food
The sister of Flash Food's founder Josh Domingues is a caterer. After supplying food to an under-attended event, she was disturbed, as she watched the discarding thousands of dollars of food. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in 2018, 81.4 billion pounds of food waste, worth about $161 billion was wasted. Another agency, The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization reports that globally people waste a third of all food produced for human consumption.

Gaining Traction
By now, Flash Food has been implemented in over a thousand stores, reducing food waste and food insecurity. Their mission is "to reduce food waste and feed people more affordably." The app's discounted prices have provided a lot of families affordable access to fresh food---in spite of the challenges of the Pandemic.

Growing a Company Virtually
Responding to the health and safety needs of shoppers because of the pandemic, Flash Food had to pivot overnight, scheduling virtual meetings with possible grocery stores. In fact, one of the executives said that the sudden need to adapt to different circumstances actually strengthened the company's relationship with its store clients.

A Great Role Model for Finding Solutions to Other Big Problems
Flash Food is a relatively small company that responded to a big problem. The app is free to download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. In the app, you will discover whether you live near one of their participating stores. If you want to know that there is definitely a store near you before downloading the app, just visit their website. This app uses readily available technology to address what is the huge problem of how to reduce food waste. How could we use this and other available technologies to address other seemingly big problems?

Special thanks to Nina Felicidario, the Great Lakes Echo, and Google for connecting me with them. To read the entire article, visit here.

Next Week's Herman Trend Alert: Post-COVID Career Shifts
Major life events often cause us to rethink our career choices. Combine that with the fact that over one-quarter of today's workers plan to change companies, once the pandemic has subsided and you have a recipe for some serious issues for employers. This Alert will focus on the causes as well as the solutions.

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