• Cherripick Team

Grocery food waste is a system, which means it can be changed.

Few things are as capable of reflecting the complexity of large problems, such as food waste in grocery stores, as the Iceberg method.


Here's an example of the Iceberg model illustration:


Photo Credit: Systems Thinking Course, Patel College of Global Solutions, USF


Here's how this looks for food waste in grocery stores:


Events - Food is "wasted" every day, in every city, in every store.


Some is thrown into the trash, thus truly being wasted. Some is donated to charities so it's value is lost to the retailer but gained by those who are food insecure. Some is composted, while in some cases food is sent to waste-to-energy production plants to be turned into energy.


Patterns - Waste is slowly starting to be seen as something of value. But 'business as usual' is common place in many organizations and has embedded a lot of waste.


As of late there are a wide variety of philanthropic organizations, governmental coalitions, and startup companies attempting to tackle food waste. They are doing so in agricultural sectors, food distribution, food retailers and restaurants, as well as in households.


Systems Structure - In grocery, the drivers of waste are myriad but one big one stands out - food dating practices, which have lead to considerable confusion among shoppers.


Some dates are created by the industry (e.g. Best By Date) while others are regulated (e.g. Use By Date) and can range from a marketing tactic for retailers to a bona fide reason to avoid consuming said food, respectively. And yet, shoppers often see these dates as one in the same. This has lead to a breakdown in first-in-first-out inventory processes. Grocers continue to use this method which can drive some consumers to buy items that have longer shelf life, save for the occasional discount method for those nearing 'expiration'.


Mental Modes - Shoppers are motivated by different things whether savings, freshness, lifestyle, specific needs, or choosing purchases to influence larger societal issues.


At Cherripick we offer a solution that allows those motivations, whatever they are, to be rewarded. Want to help the planet? Use Cherripick. Want to save money on groceries? Use Cherripick. Want to influence grocers to reduce food waste? Use Cherripick.


It's a simple premise, one that is rooted in the mentality shoppers bring when buying food, with a slight change in habit towards looking at the dates as having greater value the closer they reach expiration vs the farther out it is. This is how Cherripick will create impact - a simple solution based on rewarding the shopper for fixing the problem.


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