Food waste in America today is a major problem that’s increasingly on the radars of grocery retailers and their supplier partners.
Roughly a third of all food ultimately ends up in landfills, while about 40 million Americans are food insecure. Organic waste is the largest contributor to landfills in the US and a significant driver of climate change.
The good news, according to Emily Malina, president of B2B discounting software specialist Spoiler Alert, is that food waste is a solvable problem. Reducing food waste is #1 on Project Drawdown’s most impactful ways to address the climate crisis and there are solutions up and down the supply chain that are already driving results in the industry.
A cutting-edge discounting program, like the one Spoiler Alert offers its customers, is essential to a manufacturer’s waste diversion strategy and bottom line.
“It’s way too common for food and CPG companies to sell excess, discontinued, and aging inventory via fax, phone or PDF,” Malina said. “The Spoiler Alert platform digitizes the process.”
Spoiler Alert’s clients include CPG heavyweights like Nestle, Kraft Heinz, Danone, and Mondelez, but the company also helps fresh food producers get their products to the right retail markets.
“We specialize in perishable inventory and have extensive experience in perimeter categories such as dairy and packaged meat,” Malina said. “With this type of fresh product, speed is the name of the game.” When inventory passes its typical customer guarantee date, manufacturers have days, not weeks to sell that product into the value channel, she said.
The Spoiler Alert platform enables manufacturers to act quickly, driving better sales for their business and preserving value shelf life for their customers.
Malina said the platform gives brands’ supply chain and sales teams the tools and data to make faster and smarter decisions related to channel, price, and logistics. It also frees up time and pinpoints opportunities for driving greater engagement with existing retail partners, as well as making it more seamless to develop new relationships.
“The result is that our customers move more inventory to their retail and wholesale channels more quickly. More sales and less write offs for the brands. Faster service with more shelf life for their customers, and less waste in the landfill.”
Other B2B discounting and liquidation tools were originally designed for durable goods like apparel or toys, which don’t face the same challenges around expiration dates, Malina said.
While these solutions are trying to make their offerings relevant for food and CPG, she added, it’s an uphill battle because they aren’t specialized to deal with highly perishable products such as food or personal care.