Modern Marketing Brand Strategy

Pandamart and community app Olio collaborate on food waste solution in Singapore

By Amit Bapna | Editor-at-large

March 10, 2022 | 4 min read

Singapore’s leading online grocery cloud store, Pandamart by Foodpanda, has announced an innovative partnership with the free-sharing app Olio to minimize food waste in Singapore. As part of this collaboration, Pandamart will give away unsold food, which will be redistributed to the local community via the community app.

Why food waste is such a big deal and how brands are stepping up

Throwaway culture is an ailment of developed and developing worlds alike, and is critical to solving many economical problems such as hunger and malnutrition. Food waste remains one of the biggest waste streams in Singapore and, as per data, it generated over 660,000 tonnes of waste in 2020, accounting for about 11% of the total waste generated.

Brands are stepping up to counter this challenge and looking to co-create innovative collaborations and solutions.

An innovative marketing partnership to solve food waste issue in Singapore

This innovative marketing partnership is to solve the food waste issue in Singapore

One such solution is the ongoing partnership with Olio, which is helping Foodpanda in stepping up its efforts to support Singapore’s Zero Waste Master Plan and prevent edible food surplus from ending up in landfills.

Olio has been popular in fostering a positive sharing culture, where users are encouraged to be considerate and ensure any edible items given away are something they would be comfortable consuming themselves too.

More than 100,000 individuals across Singapore are already using Olio to counter the throwaway culture by sharing food and non-food (eg. furniture, clothing, school items) with others in their immediate community.

How the collaboration works

The initiative is based on redistributing surplus food, which would otherwise be thrown away, to the local community.

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This food, which includes perishables that are nearing their use-by date and canned goods with minor packaging defects, will be collected by Olio’s ‘food waste hero’ volunteers on set days and times, uploaded on to the app and redistributed to households and community groups for free.

First trialed in December 2021, the program has already redistributed close to 400kg of food, providing an equivalent of over 900 meals to 180 local families – from just one Pandamart store.

The partnership will be expanded to include all 15 Pandamart stores in Singapore by the end of 2022.

Experts speak

Laura Kantor, marketing and sustainability director at Foodpanda Singapore, said: “While we try our best to ensure that the supply we procure at Pandamart coincides with our customers’ demand, it is inevitable that we will have excess food that will not get sold. Instead of throwing it away, we can reduce food waste by redistributing them.” The partnership with Olio allows the brand to do that efficiently.

Kantor added: “Minimizing food waste is one of the key pillars that shape our sustainability agenda at Foodpanda, and we are keen to play a bigger part in supporting Singapore’s plan toward becoming a Zero Waste Nation.”

Tessa Clarke, chief executive officer and co-founder of Olio, said: “Singaporeans are eager to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle and the traction we’ve seen from the trial with Pandamart is a great testament to that.”

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