Food waste is a huge issue and has recently been described as an “environmental, economic and moral scandal” by Ben Elliott. Recent Northern Ireland figures shows that in total, Northern Ireland’s councils collected 230,942 tonnes of LAC municipal waste between October and December 2018.
To put that number into perspective, this amounts to approximately £200m of food waste and 1.4m tonnes of greenhouse gases emissions.
It is these hard-hitting facts that has driven the vision behind Gander, the worlds first mobile app empowering consumers to reduce food waste and save money on their weekly food bill.
“Everyone loves bagging a bargain at the supermarket and reduced priced food is a great way to achieve this whilst still eating great food. Gander displays reduced price food on an app all in real time meaning you can see what yellow stickered items are available in real time, saving money on your weekly shop.” Enthuses Ashley Osborne, one of the creators behind Gander.
“Environmentally, food waste is a crisis and is one of today’s growing issues with forecasts indicating a substantial increase by 2030 unless serious action is taken. Worst still, a significant proportion of this waste is completely avoidable. A yellow label doesn’t mean the food lacks the same great taste and versality when it comes to cooking family favourite dishes.
“For retailers reduced food can cost them up to 7% of their turnover. At a time when margins are being squeezed, this is revenue sitting on their shelves and that customers locally would love to buy, they just don’t know it is there”,
Ashley Osborne, is one of the team members behind this world’s first mobile platform, developed to connect available reduced price, (often “yellow stickered”) food produce at your nearest retail store, in real-time.
During his time living and working in London, Ashley would finish work most days close to the closing time (unfortunately!) of his local food store. At this hour, the shelves were awash with yellow stickers, and he knew, given that it was closing in a few minutes time, the food was most probably going to surplus or in the bin.
Despite this, it wasn’t until he came across a supplement in a National Paper discussing how food waste and its impact on the environment is set to be one of the leading man-made crises of the next 20 years.
At this stage the solution seemed obvious and this is when Gander was born!
Supermarkets and convenience stores were already reducing a vast array of food products, only issues was no one knew about it. If this information was made more accessible online and to thousands more people surely it would mean more of this food was bought and less became surplus. It was a win win for the retailer and the customer.
The idea seemed simple, the technology not so and some of the initial digital agencies Gander worked with pushed them down the route of something that involved manually uploading these items as they were stickered. Whilst this solution looked good it was not real time and was not reliable.
It was back to the drawing board and further research was done. All the time during this, the recognition of food waste and its environmental impact was becoming more and more mainstream.
It was a discussion with their now Chief Technology Officer and a forward-thinking EPOS (Electronic Point of Sale) provider that they realised this solution was not just a possibility, it was achievable. It required a clever system with several moving parts, which was subsequently built, and this is where Gander in its fully automated current guise was born.
Gander is unique for this industry and a world first in its category. It displays reduced price food automatically. This means there is absolutely no changes in-store, once integrated, Gander simply works.
Gander integrates with many Point of Sale (“POS”) systems (or other retailer data feeds) to push the reduced food products to the mobile app, usually when they are stickered in-store. Similarly, when that item is sold it is automatically removed from the app, providing a real time feed of all reductions in-store at any time to the customers locally.
In addition, Gander has a detailed analytics platform, which gives retailers a 360-degree analysis of their reduction’s metrics and performance as well as interactions with their reductions. Again, all in real time.
After reaching out to several EPOS providers with the view to integrating with their systems; Henderson’s Technology and EDGEPoS was one of the most progressive ones the Gander team had looked at.
The Henderson Group has a fantastic sustainability and CSR programme in place with a proactive focus on waste reduction. It is for this reason that the team chose to work with the group to launch Gander to market for the first time.
In addition to the partnership with the Henderson Group and its impressive technology offering, Northern Ireland became the launch pad for Gander particularly as Northern Ireland stores have a very large reliance on fresh food. A product especially date sensitive. Gander’s proposition is completely different to anything on the market and the team is confident it will make a significant impact on supporting retailers and consumers alike in addressing food waste.
Gander is rolling out across the UK and ROI following the successful launch of the app in NI, to help drastically reduce waste at a National level.
See how the Gander app works here: http://bit.ly/2maYjoi
The Gander app can be downloaded now via the Apple or Android app stores – click here or just search ‘Gander’.
You can also follow @getgander on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.