Following a four-store pilot, Stop & Shop is rolling out the Flashfood food waste reduction app to its supermarkets in Pawtucket and Providence, R.I.
The free app from Toronto-based Flashfood gives shoppers access to exclusive deals on products — including meat, produce, seafood, dairy, deli and bakery — that are nearing their best-by date. In turn, the significantly reduced prices drive purchases of food that otherwise would go to the retailer’s waste stream.
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop said it will be Rhode Island’s first retailer to deploy the Flashfood program for local customers. The app is now available for use by customers at stores in Pawtucket (368-398 Cottage St.), Providence (850 Manton Ave. and 333 West River St.), North Providence (1128 Mineral Spring Ave.) and East Providence (1925 Pawtucket Ave.).
“Each year we aim to give back to the communities we serve in an effort to fight hunger, food waste and help our shoppers save money,” Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid said in a statement. “Alongside our community donation programs, Flashfood is another program we’re excited about to give our customers a new opportunity to save on fresh foods. We’ve already seen how the program helps families significantly save money on their grocery bills, while also helping our environment.”
Customers use Flashfood to browse deals on foods nearing their best-by dates and buy items directly through the app.
Flashfood’s app enables shoppers to browse deals at participating stores on foods that are approaching expiration. Purchases are made directly through the app, and customers pick up their order on the same day from the designated “Flashfood zone” area inside the store. Items purchased are stored in a refrigerator or on a storage rack until they’re picked up by customers.
In April, Stop & Shop began testing Flashfood at three stores in Worcester and one store in Grafton, Mass. The eight-month pilot reduced food waste by almost 35,000 pounds, which translates to 2,905 pounds of methane gas prevented from release into the atmosphere, the companies reported.
“Food waste has been a challenge for the grocery industry for decades, so we are excited to continue working with sustainably-minded partners like Stop & Shop to help alleviate this crisis,” commented Josh Domingues, founder and CEO of Flashfood. “Our retail partners are seeing firsthand how, through innovation, we really can make an impact.”
To date through its retail partnerships, Flashfood said it has diverted 30 million pounds of food from ending up in U.S. and Canadian landfills and has saved shoppers roughly $90 million on their grocery bills.
Besides Stop & Shop, Ahold Delhaize USA supermarkets offering Flashfood include Landover, Md.-based Giant Food and Carlisle, Pa.-based The Giant Company (Giant/Martin’s stores). Other U.S. and Canadian grocery retailers partnering with Flashfood include Wakefern Food Corp. (Price Rite Marketplace), Tops Friendly Markets, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, SpartanNash (Family Fare and Martin’s Super Markets), IGA Mt. Plymouth Fresh Market and Loblaw Cos. (Loblaw’s, Real Canadian Superstore, NoFrills, Maxi, Zehrs, Dominion, Independent, Provigo and Wholesale Club banners).