• This article has been redacted by our consultants engaged in one of the Green Practices teams : Green'telligence

  • Green'telligence: Food waste

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    Food waste represents between 8 and 10% of the total CO2 emissions on the planet which is a social aberration as almost 500,000 Belgians rely on food aid.

    Phenix provides an application allowing retailers to sell their unsold goods at the end of the day. The group aims to expand into another city beyond Brussels. It was therefore proposed to the students to determine the most interesting city to target, as well as the associated marketing actions, and the investments to be made for this.

  • The context


    The figures are clear, Food Waste remains a worldwide issue. Here are some key numbers on Belgium Food Waste’ situation:

    • 30% of food waste is from FMCG & Retail;
    • 350kg of food is wasted/person/year;
    • Foodwaste represents 8% of total greenhouse emissions;
    • 300M€ of food wasted in supermarkets/year;
    • 500.000 persons depend on food aid;
    • If only 1/3 of wasted food was redistributed, no one would suffer from food insecurity.

    Based on these facts, Phenix aims to fight against food waste by developing human and tech B2B (86% : via Smart labelling & Donation) & B2C (14% : via App) solutions. They prepare “surprise basket” with a mix of unsold food which is displayed in the App and the user can select the shop with the prepared bucket to be picked-up. Today, it represents 10,000 clients, 3m+ users of the app in 5 countries, 2,500 partner charities, and 300 employees. On average, Phenix’s impact daily represents 130,000 meals saved from going to waste.

    Already present for one year in Brussels, Mons, and Charleroi, Phenix’s challenge today is to develop a strategy to figure out “how to spread its impact in other cities of Belgium”. To do so, they asked the students to suggest the next city, best suited for Phenix’ strategy to accelerate growth in Belgium via the App!


    The challenge


    To broaden Phenix’s impact by preventing food waste, the challenge is to elaborate a plan for the launch of the App services in a new city of Belgium and to evaluate its success potential within the next 3 years!

    The plan should consider the following constraints:

    • Timing: next 4 months of operational launch;
    • Budget: within a 50.000€ budget;
    • Forecast: 3 years forecast financial plan.

    Phenix works with the supply and the demand sides. The first side required to test and learn from the field by asking questions to the potential clients to identify opportunities, barriers, and potential differentiation points. The second side required to list and recommend the best suited channels for spreading Phenix’s impact for the chosen city. Creativity was a focus point to explore all possible new users and to communicate about the offer.

    While exploring the environment, students faced some challenges:

    • Understanding the added value for shops compared to other food waste applications;
    • Taking into account language and cultural changes in Flanders;
    • Understanding socio-demographical aspects such as the importance of the economical aspect in the purchase decision for people from Charleroi and Mons rather than the ecological impact of waste reduction.

    The key takeaways


    Here are some ideas proposed by the students to tackle this problem :

    • Several cities were proposed based on new indicators:
      • Proportion of students per city;
      • Population distribution by age group;
      • Diversity of suppliers (bakeries, supermarkets, butchers, …);
      • Socioeconomic behaviours.
    • Phenix can prosper besides its competitors since there is still too much food waste left at the end of the day. Retailers are willing to combine opportunities to decrease their foodwaste.

    • In the short term, Phenix should embark the launching of the App in a new city while organizing an event.

    • In the longer term, Phenix should focus on increasing the awareness about waste during events gathering both sides of the offer: the supply side (retailers) and the demand side