Co-op app highlighting reduced food in stores hailed a “success”

A new app from the Co-op which allows shoppers to identify where reduced items are on the shelves in-store has been deemed a success in its first year.

The service, called ‘Gander’, is free to download and uses real-time technology to highlight yellow-sticker, reduced-to-clear food items in local supermarkets. With a “potential reach of thousands in local communities”, the app helps to significantly reduce food waste.

An added advantage of the scheme is the personalised notification alert to shoppers, ensuring they are the first to know about local bargains.

The service was first launched in 2020 and has seen a 22% reduction in reduced items being wasted across the network.

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“Gander has proven extremely popular among our customers,” revealed Dan Warburton, manager of the Co-op Balsall Common store, where the scheme has been the most popular.

“We too have been delighted with its success. Not only does it bring savvy shoppers into our store every day as they snap up cut-price bargains from our shelves, but it is helping us to reduce the amount of food wasted, which as we know is an issue in the UK – not just socially and economically, but environmentally.”

The Co-operative Society’s Food Division general manager Steve Browne added: “Food waste is a real problem in the UK and the effects of this are far-reaching.

“Firstly, by wasting the time, energy, money and water that has been invested in growing the food, harvesting the products, packaging the items and transporting them to the shelves have also gone to waste. And when unsold food is thrown away it is sent to landfill, to rot.

“This in turn produces methane which is far more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. Thankfully, reduced food deals have always proven popular in our stores. But part of their success is ensuring the right foods are on the shelves at the right time so they are seen by the right people.

“Now thanks to Gander, we are no longer reliant on timing for our scheme to be a success. Our customers can seek the best deals on some of their favourite foods all at the touch of a button!”

Gander is available for download via the Apple and Android app stores.

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