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Flashfood releases 2023 Impact Report: The Future of Food is Waste

The report features expert interviews, a case study on SNAP EBT usage on Flashfood and a deep dive on how food waste relates to nutrition and produce consumption in the United States.

Flashfood released its second annual Impact Report: The Future of Food is Waste at the ReFED 2024 Food Waste Solutions Summit. The report features interviews with a variety of expert industry voices, a case study on SNAP EBT usage on Flashfood and a deep dive on how food waste relates to nutrition and produce consumption in the U.S.

The thesis of the report is clear: we don’t need more food in our food system, we need less waste. There are 44 million people experiencing food insecurity in the U.S. but we’re throwing away the equivalent of 145 billion meals annually. We only need 48 billion meals to feed 44 million people three meals a day for an entire calendar year. We currently waste three times what we need.

Excerpts from interviews with expert voices across the industry underline the report’s position that a collaborative approach to solving this problem is the only option, with insights from Noreen Springstead, president and CEO of Partnership for a Healthier America; Dana Gunders, executive director of ReFED; and Ben Kuethe Oaks, vice president of customer solutions and success at Diver.

[Read more: Stop & Shop, Flashfood roll out program in New York City]

“There’s a tendency for technology companies in an emerging industry to be framed as competitors, rather than collaborators,” said Nicholas Bertram, president and CEO of Flashfood. “The waste tech space is critical to the future of this planet, so I think that’s irresponsible. Our people and our climate depend on us to solve this problem. The aim of Flashfood’s annual impact report is not just to communicate our progress, but to offer research and insights the industry can benefit from, and to highlight other organizations we support. Through partnership I genuinely believe that the best days of humanity are ahead of us, not behind us, and I hope the industry can join me in this optimism.”

Although inflation has slowed in the spring of 2024, people are still feeling the pressure. According to a new survey of U.S. consumers conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Flashfood, about half of Americans (52%) are paying more attention to coupons or sales or buying store brand products over the name brand (48%) as a result of rising grocery prices.

This has a nutrition cost. Eating healthily costs an additional $1.50 a day in the U.S. and the price of produce has drastically outpaced the cost increase of other foods. Today, fewer than 1 in 10 people in the U.S. eat the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. At the same time, we’re throwing away over 30 million tons per year in the U.S. To address food waste and food insecurity in one go, throwing away less produce is a great place to start. Flashfood is working to solve this problem with its number one selling product: the mixed produce box. In 2023 alone, Flashfood saved shoppers more than $13 million dollars on fresh produce.

[Read more: Stop & Shop adds Flashfood program to more than 60 New York locations]

The second-annual report from Flashfood was produced and designed by COOMER, an B Corp certified advertising agency based in Kentucky. To read the full report, visit here.

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