As we continue forward in the full swing of the holiday season, many questions are up in the air when it comes to celebrations. We’ve covered what Black Friday will look like in terms of sales and the greater retail landscape, but what of grocery retail? While the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown in new challenges in the for grocery retailers, there’s a pre-existing condition in the world of food: waste.
Grocery Retail Waste
When it comes to food waste, how much is there, exactly? Well, the amount can be quite staggering. In the United States alone, approximately 30-40% of all food production goes to waste. That’s about 133 billion pounds of food that aren’t purchased or consumed; wasted food is the single largest category in municipal landfills. What’s more, about half of the produce that’s thrown out is still edible. In addition, those are just the numbers behind the food itself, not taking into consideration the labor and resources that are used for food production. For grocery retailers, this is not only costly to their bottom line, but hurtful to their brand reputation.
While the statistics behind food waste are quite shocking, that isn’t the only thing that goes to the landfill. Products such as shelf-stable foods past their ‘best by’ date, beauty products, and overstock items can be saved from the landfill with the proper solution in place, since there is nothing wrong with them.
Grocery Retailers’ Commitment to Reducing Waste
As grocery retail waste continues to grow, there are several efforts with a mission to reduce grocery waste. One is the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative, a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): “Through the Initiative, the agencies affirm their shared commitment to reduce food loss and waste. They also agree to coordinate action to leverage government resources to reduce food loss and waste, including action to educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.”
Another is the 10x20x30 Initiative, launched at Champion 12.3’s 2019 annual food loss and waste summit in New York. The movement aims to have 10 of the world’s largest food retailers and providers engage with at least 20 suppliers each to reduce food loss and waste by half, by the year 2030. It’s designed to reduce grocery and food waste not only from stores themselves, but at every level of the supply chain. As of September of this year, 200 of these retailers’ major suppliers had committed to the movement, totaling representation from more than 80 countries. The initiative is being driven by the “Target-Measure-Act” approach:
- Set a target of reducing food loss and waste in their own operations by 50%
- Measure and publish their food loss and waste inventories
- Take action to reduce their waste
The Sustainability in Liquidation
As global expectations of sustainability set new standards worldwide, retailers globally are committing to become more environmentally friendly. As the idea of no landfills continues to grow, they need to consider the avenues that they can leverage to reduce—and even prevent—grocery waste. Grocers need a solution to sell overstock items that may no longer be sellable in stores that extend beyond their omnichannel strategies. So, how can they contribute to the commitment while offsetting loss? By partnering with B-Stock.
How can B-Stock Help Grocery Retailers?
We provide retailers a private, online marketplace to auction off their returned and overstock merchandise to a global network of vetted business buyers located in more than 130 countries. It’s why nine of the top 10 U.S. retailers are currently using our solution to offload their excess inventory—regardless of product type. Our auction strategy leverages the following:
Bypass the landfill. A robust buyer base exists for just about every product regardless of condition, style, or brand. From discount store owners to online sellers to mom-and-pop shops, to local small grocers, you’ll have direct access to a large buyer pool.
Highlights from 2019 B-Stock sustainability stats:
If done right, a B2B offset substantial loss for returned or excess grocery inventory. By setting up an online auction dynamic where specifically targeted buyers compete to buy your merchandise, pricing goes up.
With a larger buyer base made up of the right buyers you can move inventory as needed—regardless of volume, time of year, or product category.
By automating your liquidation process, you’ll improve the operational efficiency of your liquidation program. No more spreadsheets. No more faxing. No more negotiating over the phone.
Online Auction Dynamic
Increased competition through auctions means higher pricing; it also drives velocity, creates a sense of urgency and excitement. Auctions also mean no offline negotiating: you’ll be able to extract buyers’ highest willingness to pay and have real data on secondary market prices.
To learn how B-Stock can help you meet your sustainability goals by tapping into a sustainable liquidation option, request a demo.