Romanians from Cluj and Bucharest Rescued 7.5 Tons of Food with the Mobile App

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 29/09/2022 | 17:41

Responsible shopping mobile app reveals the first aggregated consumer behavior data about Romanian shoppers who are conscious about food waste.


The data were released by the company to mark the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (29 September), highlighting the rapid increase in responsible shopping among the urban population, who is turning to buying food, sweets, and drinks that are either perishable or nearing the expiry date, and which otherwise would have simply been discarded. The two main factors driving the purchase decision for this population segment are avoiding food waste (online, “rescuing” is the preferred term) as well as the discounts offered by the merchants enrolled in the app.

Food waste is not only a material loss for the merchant or producer, but also a loss of opportunity (because it translates into a missed exchange of value), as well as an environmental risk, since food discarded into landfills decomposes and generates large amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

How the app works lists the offerings of partner stores for the users, who can choose and then order their products directly from the application, paying online and picking their order directly from the store. Orders are fulfilled on a “first come, first served” basis, while stocks last.

Over the past 10 months since the app’s rollout, users have rescued about 7.5 tons of food, representing a reduction in carbon emissions of more than 15 tons of CO2, the equivalent of what a diesel-powered car would emit going around the Earth two times through the Equator. currently has nearly 500 partner merchants in the cities of Cluj-Napoca and Bucharest, and the company is in talks with several chain stores and HoReCa establishments to further expand its client base. Stores design their offerings as they like, usually in the form of packages containing one or more products, and sometimes as a “surprise box” for those customers that like to try new things. The vast majority of available packages, about 95% of total, go for a discount of 50%, with the rest giving discounts between 70% and 90%.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the rapid adoption pace of our app”, says Sînziana Perțea, Partner & Customer Success Senior Specialist. “Tracing the dynamics of orders over the last 10 months, we found out that once users tried the app they quickly turned into loyal customers. We’ve seen many cases of users who went from two or three orders in the first month of using the app to more than 10 in the next month, then to 20-30 in next month after that. Usually, the solution is quickly adopted and subsequently becomes commonly used. We also have «champion» users , with over 400 packages rescued, in more than 250 orders, over the last 10 months. As far as I’ve noticed, users generally become loyal customers of merchants whose offerings they follow on a daily basis. For some stores, is also a way to offload perishable inventory at the end of the day. One of our partners, for instance, sold 19 discounted product packages in a single day, in less than two and a half minutes.”

Types of food Romanians rescue

By category, the products most often rescued are sweets, followed by foodstuffs, then bakery and pastry, ready-to-eat products, and menus. “The product categories are assigned by partners in the app interface, which explains the appearance of this generic category of «foodstuffs»”, says Cătălin Semeniuc, Sales Representative.

“The most striking thing we have witnessed since the launch of the application is the emergence of a generation of consumers who are aware of the importance of a sustainable consumption behavior that avoids food waste. These are people with at least a medium-level education, who are relatively young and earn an above-average income, and who use our application not necessarily to take advantage of the discounts, but mostly because they feel they are doing something good, and sometimes to satisfy little urges, like for example trying certain products or offerings from certain merchants. Given the successive crises we have been going through since 2020, we expect this generation of consumers to make up an increasingly larger share of the general population, and for responsible shopping to change the current system of production and consumption in food retail”.

In Romania, as in the whole European Union, food waste is a major problem. Every year, according to UNEP data for 2021, Romanians throw away about 74 kg of food per capita. Around 6,000 tons of food, representing about 10% of the total sold, end up in landfills every day, totaling 2.2 million tons in a single year, although 4.5 million Romanians face difficulties in providing daily food for themselves and their families. In Romania, as in other developed countries, food waste is an almost entirely urban problem, where 95% of food waste is generated.

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