Innovation That Matters

Food box | Photo source Anne Prebel on Unsplash

Food boxes to sell unsaleable food


A new foodbox hopes to reduce food waste by selling ‘ugly’ foods at a deep discount.

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According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly one-third of all food produced in America ends up as waste. A lot of this is food that has been deemed unsaleable because it is misshapen or imperfect. A new concept is hoping to address food waste by providing a market for imperfect food. Canada-based Flashfood began in 2016 with an app on which grocers could post deals on their surplus food. Users could see the deals, pay through their phone and pick their items up the same day. Now, Flashfood have come up with a new concept in which unsaleable ‘ugly’ foods are packaged into food boxes and shipped directly to consumers.

For their project, Flashfood have partnered with Tyson Innovation Lab, a product development acceleration team at Tyson Foods. They have also partnered with Forgotten Harvest, a Detroit nonprofit that is active in fighting food waste and food insecurity. The boxes were launched in the Detroit metro area on Earth Day, April 22. Detroit was chosen as the launch site because of its commitment to revitalisation. The program will run for 90 days as a test launch.

Each Flashfoodbox contains around 15 pounds of surplus food, including fruits, vegetables and protein. Flashfood claims there is enough food in each box to prepare around 14 meals. The boxes sell for 44.99 USD each, which comes to less than 4 USD per serving. Using surplus food keeps the prices lower than most food boxes, which helps people on a budget have access to healthy, farm-fresh produce. The boxes can be ordered online or through the Flashfood app. Weekly or monthly subscribers will also receive a 10 percent discount.




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