HelloFresh, an international meal kit provider, and Spoiler Alert, a Boston-based technology company that harnesses data to manage excess food inventory, are working together to reduce the amount of food waste generated from HelloFresh distribution centers in the United States. The companies are using a data-driven approach to divert surplus food inventory from the landfill to organizations that fight hunger.
While HelloFresh targets household food waste by providing pre-measured and portioned ingredients, surplus food in the distribution centers is inevitable. Uwe Voss, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director for HelloFresh US, says that the company is focusing on food waste reduction: “From the time we started our company, reducing food waste has been inherent in our mission and model…Working with Spoiler Alert has enabled us to double down on our mission to operate a sustainable business that generates great value for our customers and our community.”
The partnership targets the three HelloFresh distribution centers in the U.S., located in California, Texas, and New Jersey. HelloFresh and Spoiler Alert have developed a strategy to keep the excess food away from the landfill, instead linking it to food donation centers and other charities.
New initiatives, including processes to facilitate donation pickup and better track the food waste stream, reduced the amount of surplus food HelloFresh sends to the landfill by 65 percent. Additionally, HelloFresh increased the amount of surplus food that is donated to local organizations including Table to Table, a community-based food rescue operation, and other local partners, from 33 percent to 61 percent.
The benefits of this initiative extend beyond food waste reduction. Notably, from July 2017 to March 2018, HelloFresh and Spoiler Alert provided the weight equivalent of 1 million meals to food insecure people in the U.S. (calculated at 1.2 pounds per meal). Just under 90 percent of these donations were fresh produce. With over 41 million people in the U.S. living in food insecure households, diverting food surplus to those who need it most provides social, in addition to financial and environmental, benefits.