SPAR Ireland has launched a new partnership with food waste app Too Good To Go in Ireland, making it the first retail network in the country to sign up to what it describes as 'a game-changing solution' in addressing food waste at the retail level.
The new partnership, which will start in Dublin, will see participating SPAR stores selecting a range of short shelf-life products that are in perfect condition but are unlikely to be sold on the day. The items will be packed into ‘Surprise Bags’ and offered via the Too Good To Go app for a third of its original value.
Customers can log onto the app and browse stores that have ‘Surprise Bags’ available for reservation on any given day before picking them up, the retailer said.
Products that are likely to feature regularly in the ‘Surprise Bags’ include fruit, vegetables, salads, prepared meals, bread, and pastries.
The items will be carefully selected to provide maximum value for money from a shopper experience perspective, with stores seeking to provide complete meals to customers.
The introduction of the ‘Surprise Bag’ initiative adds to SPAR’s existing food waste management programmes, including the contribution of food waste from its distribution operations to produce biogas fuel for its fleet of biogas vehicles in place of traditional diesel fuel, resulting in a fully circular solution.
SPAR also has a long-term partnership with social enterprise group FoodCloud whereby surplus foods are redistributed to several local charities and food banks across Ireland.
The ‘Surprise Bag’ solution is expected to be popular with sustainability focussed consumers, who are passionate about reducing their environmental impact, value focussed customers, and time-poor customers driven by hyper convenience.
Commenting on the new partnership, Colin Donnelly, SPAR sales director, said, “Research shows that food waste is estimated to account for approximately 8% of global greenhouses gas emissions, making it a key issue that the retail sector as a whole must tackle head-on.
"SPAR’s partnership with Too Good To Go marks another step in our own journey towards stronger sustainability while also providing a quality tool for our retailers to better manage short shelf-life products. This solution is a win-win from every perspective."
Internationally, SPAR recently achieved a significant milestone through SPAR International’s global partnership with Too Good To Go when it reached one million meals saved across 13 markets, or the equivalent of cutting 2,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions worldwide at the end of September, just nine months into the new partnership.