JustNow is a new app that has been launched in Africa that helps to tackle food waste and save money at the same time. It was founded by Alexandre Vellieux who grew up learning how to respect food and not to waste it.
With rising food prices and a scarcity in remote regions of the continent, Vellieux decided to build an app that could help people who couldn’t afford basic food items. “Seeing so many fresh foods that were expiring the same day in groceries shops here in South Africa, we wanted to help people who cannot afford food anymore and to reduce waste faced by not only food retailers but which is also the responsibility of everyone as a whole,” he says.
An estimated R61.5bn is lost every year to food waste and yet 11 million people are still hungry in South Africa. The app aims to tap into this potential market, saving businesses money, but also feeding people with good quality foods.
How JustNow works
JustNow aims to minimise fresh food waste by advertising the products that are about to be taken off the shelves or reach their expiry date. The target audience will have the app on their phones and will receive the offers from supermarkets and grocery stores. They can scan the JustNow code at the tills and receive their discounts.
This enables people to purchase products and a greatly reduced price but also generates a little bit of income for the shops that use the system. Users can search the app for special offers and recommendations. Stores can use the app to keep track of their stock and create new promotions.
The app is free for users, but stores pay a monthly subscription to use the software to host their products. JustNow also takes a commission from sales generated on the app.
Variables that the app can track
JustNow aims to help the population gain access to fresh produce at much lower prices while reducing food waste for the retailers. The app uses key performance indicators (KPIs) to track and analyse a number of metrics, including the number of users, transactions, shops and available offers.
This will give a good overview of the country-wide situation, and give more insight into problem areas. The app is easy to use and can be integrated seamlessly into existing retailer systems, with no overhead costs or need for additional space.
Will it work in Africa?
At the moment, there are no competitors in Africa – no other food-saving app exists that benefits both the user and the store. A few examples of similar applications have been seen in Europe and America but they aren’t suited to the African market and specific needs and requirements of local stores.
JustNow is helping to feed South Africa while reducing food waste and generating some income for store owners – all while conserving the environment. At the moment, the app has partnered with Woolworths stores in Johannesburg, but they are aiming to increase their partnerships countrywide.
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