Since the inception of the international partnership in December 2020, the collaboration between SPAR and Too Good To Go has expanded to fourteen overlapping markets. This partnership plays a key role in helping SPAR retailers sell near-to-expiry food that could otherwise go to waste. Already over 2 million meals have been saved through the digital solution which is embraced by consumers and retailers.
SPAR Austria continues to pioneer innovative ways to reduce food waste. Although only 1% of the food offered instore goes unsold, the retailer is looking to bring this down further by using data and AI for goods ordering and supply chain management. In cooperation with SPAR ICS – the company’s IT unit – Microsoft, and other partners, SPAR Austria has developed a solution that enables more targeted order suggestions and demand forecasts for all SPAR, EUROSPAR, and INTERSPAR stores. The new system offers a prediction accuracy of over 90%, meaning that the right amount is available in the right store at the right time, thus further reducing food waste.
SPAR Slovenia inspires shoppers with recipes whereby Slovenian chef Marko Pavčnik prepares top-quality dishes from leftover foods that many people usually throw away. The “Food doesn’t belong in the trash” initiative is part of SPAR Slovenia’s wider strategy to reduce food waste. The retailer also distributes unsold food from SPAR stores to people in need and closely monitors trends to enable optimal product ordering.
SPAR South Africa has a robust sustainability strategy and trials initiatives prior to rolling them out across the business. One such pilot currently run by SPAR KwaZulu Natal Perishables Distribution Centre is to sustainably convert food waste into usable material. An Australian patented system, called BiobiN, which converts food waste into compost within six weeks, is being tested. The output can be used in farming or gardening to support the growth of plants or animal feed, a true example of a circular economy.
SPAR tackles food waste through a collaboration with the digital platform Gander, available internationally. This partnership is another milestone in both parties’ strategy of using digital solutions to achieve a reduction in food waste within the food retail sector. Gander offers SPAR a real-time, automated mobile platform that helps food stores sell more close-to-expiry date, discounted food products.
SPAR Hungary campaigns against food waste by inspiring customers with ideas to save food and highlighting the importance of sustainable shopping. SPAR Hungary has targeted food waste reduction for many years, improving food handling and also donating leftover food to wildlife parks and animal shelters.
To read more about SPAR’s overall responsible retailing strategy click on this link. An outline of the areas we focus on within our environmental impact reduction programme can be read here.