The household food waste problem

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I have never been a fan of grocery shopping, growing up it was my mother who handled that tedious task. My wife had a different experience, it was her father who directed grocery shopping at her house. In our household, she’s the one who goes grocery shopping and I’m the one who stocks the food and basically eats it as well. Sometimes I must replace her, and I fear that moment where I need to go out there and act as if I know what I’m doing. See, my wife knows that item A is cheaper at Wal-Mart and she knows that item B is of better quality at Loblaws, she knows that she needs to buy this number of item C because my son and I (really just me) are voracious eaters. When I go, I park the car in one place and buy the first item of a specific category that she told me to buy regardless of the price, and I don’t know what quantity I need to buy.

A few years ago, I had an idea where I thought it would be great if I could build a marketplace where people could ask shoppers to buy and deliver their groceries to them. Fast forward to today, Instacart is doing it and many other companies are doing it in other verticals as well. Today, I don’t really believe that this is a scalable business, I actually believe that this is more a nice to have than a must-have. The problem these companies are trying to solve is really timesaving, but not that many people are using the service. Plus, many grocery chains are now offering their own shopping and delivery services.

The real problem is food waste. A lot of food that we buy we don’t consume.

Here’s what issues that brings:

  1. 1 in 9 people on the planet are starving or malnourished
  2. It is environmentally catastrophic

About 800 million people are suffering from hunger, due to the globalized food supply system, developed countries have a real impact on food prices in developing countries. The west wastes a lot of food and while our countries are responsible for the food waste issue, our own people also suffer from it. Over 1 million people accessed a food bank last year in the UK and about 40 million Americans live in food poverty.

Lands are deforested, many species are disappearing, indigenous people must move out. Soil is being degraded and 25% of global freshwater consumption is done to produce food that we don’t consume. Without access to oxygen decomposed food creates methane which is 23 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases are also a major consequence of food waste.

More than 50% of food waste is caused by households, in America, the average family throws away $2275 worth of food every year. A behavioral change is necessary to tackle this problem. As households, we need to reduce our food waste levels. The problem is that our households buy more food than we can consume. Buying based on impulses creates waste, storing too much food in places where their shelf-life drop also impact waste. Cooking too much food is another way to waste a ton of food particularly if we don’t eat our leftovers.

It’s all about basket management, it’s about accurately planning what to buy before heading to the grocery store. We need to be conscious of what we really need to buy. Planning increases purchasing accuracy and it prevents the purchase of food that will find its way to our waste cans.

This is what the team and I are focusing on.

Give us your thoughts on that issue.

Jean

Waxdale Ventures L.P. is the startup studio operated by Waxdale Ecosystem Inc. Waxdale Ecosystem Inc. is an Ecosystem as a Service organization and it provides services and tools to entrepreneurs and startups throughout the startup lifecycle. Waxdale Ventures was created as a vehicle to help Waxdale Ecosystem build internal and mostly consumer-focused startups. It is primarily a great way for Waxdale Ecosystem to test its own services and tools (eating its own cooking) to perfect its offerings. It is also a great way to provide consumers with great products as they are being snubbed by many tech startups who prefer the big margins that B2B business models offer. Waxdale Ventures is a journey that Waxdale Ecosystem wanted to embark on. Waxdale Ventures L.P. is managed and operated by Jean Agenor, Waxdale Ecosystem’s founder, and CEO. Jean is also Startubuz’ s editor in chief. We sincerely hope we found the solution to your most pressing everyday life problem. With love and respect. WVLP.

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