Tue.
Jan 18
2022
ultrafast grocery
Image: Yango Deli

The race to capture the future of grocery won’t forget charity in the rush. In fact, some elements of ultrafast delivery may make giving easier.

Yango Deli, the ultrafast grocery arm of NASDAQ-listed tech giant Yandex, has put together a partnership with London non-profit My Yard to deliver leftover groceries from dark stores to Londoners in need.

“The partnership with Yango Deli is exciting because they offer an incredibly broad assortment, stocking their warehouses with 2,500 different products, on average,” according to Rachel Dimond, founder and CEO of My Yard. “This means that while their surplus is not large, it is incredibly varied, which makes it easier to deliver donations that are both vital and useful to Londoners who need our help,”.

Ultrafast delivery is quickly becoming the next frontier in grocery retail, as companies battle to bag customers via speed and convenience. The tech-driven trend is sweeping through major cities from London to New York, and across capital and debt markets as investors push for market share.

This partnership marks the first time My Yard has collaborated with an ultrafast grocery service. The company’s existing partners include Marks and Spencer’s, Waitrose, Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, Sainsburys, Gail’s bakeries, Wenzel’s bakeries, Food Bank Aid and The Felix Project, another non-profit that distributes surplus goods.

It can be challenging at times to find a home for donations from traditional supermarkets.

“It’s a big job to figure out the right way to distribute a truckload of celeriac,” Dimond said.

Yango Deli and My Yard may be the news of the day, but they aren’t the only ones.

The issue of leftover food in grocery retail is important due to carbon emissions related to decomposing waste, which contribute to global warming.

Gorillas sealed a partnership with an anti-waste app in eight countries across Europe last year and has saved more than 17 tonnes of surplus stock in the UK, according to The Grocer.

Gorillas customers fill their basic needs including fresh produce through the week with orders as opposed to going to bigger shops. But when food in the warehouse gets too close to expiry date, the company has a partnership with Too Good To Go which can ensure that it will be eaten and not go to waste.

Gorillas estimated that the 17 tonnes of waste it had saved has spared CO2 emissions equal to charging a smart phone 7.6 million times. Unused food is the main place where the industry produces emissions.

The ultrafast grocery business model involves tech that closely manages inventory and logistics. However, it also has to grapple with the same old issues of shelf life and avoiding food waste, as they have not disappeared.

In such a rapidly developing business where speed and reliability are key, food waste may be a difficult issue.

That said, this problem might be temporary, with charities providing a viable solution.

By Stephen Bierman

Stephen Bierman is an energy markets journalist and the editor of New Economy Observer.

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