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Flashfood zone pickup area-customer Flashfood
Items purchased near their "best before" date via the Flashfood app are picked up at the "Flashfood zone" inside the participating store.

The Giant Company targets food waste with Flashfood app pilot

Also, Loblaw Cos. to bring app to more stores to sell near-expiring products at discount

The Giant Company is testing the Flashfood app at four Pennsylvania supermarkets to help reduce store-generated food waste.

Also on Tuesday, Toronto-based Flashfood said Canadian food and drug retailer Loblaw Cos. Plans to roll out the app to more stores after diverting millions of pound of food from landfills under the program last year.

Carlisle, Pa.-based Giant, part of Ahold Delhaize USA, said the Flashfood app is now available at four Giant stores in Lancaster, Pa.: 1008 Lititz Pike, 550 Centerville Rd., 1360 Columbia Ave and 1605 Lititz Pike.

The Flashfood mobile app helps cut down on food waste in stores by enabling customers to buy near-expiring products at a discount. Giant said shoppers using the app can purchase fresh produce, meat, deli and bakery items close to their “best before” date at significantly reduced prices.

“The Giant Company is committed to doing everything it can to preserve the communities we live and work in for future generations, and reducing food waste is central to our efforts,” Sepideh Burkett, vice president of store support at The Giant Company, said in a statement. “Working with Flashfood, not only will we be providing our customers with savings on safe, high-quality food items, but we’ll also continue to minimize our environmental impact by diverting even more food waste away from landfills.”

Purchases made through the app, which can be downloaded free for iOS and Android mobile devices, can be picked up by shoppers the same day from the “Flashfood zone” area inside the participating Giant store.

“The last few months have dramatically altered consumers’ food habits. Collectively, we are remembering how vital the grocery store is for our communities,” according to Josh Domingues, Flashfood founder and CEO.  “We’re incredibly proud to partner with The Giant Company for this pilot in Lancaster. This is a time where people need to save money more than ever. The way that Giant is providing the community with an innovative way to save money while reducing food waste through the Flashfood app is incredible.”

In Canada, the Flashfood app is slated to become available at additional Loblaw Cos. supermarkets this year, including 38 Independent Grocer stores in the spring plus selected No Frills locations.

Initially launched in 138 Maxi and Provigo stores throughout Quebec, the Flashfood app was rolled out nationwide to more than 400 Loblaw Cos. stores in the second half of 2019, including the Loblaw, Real Canadian Superstore, Atlantic Superstore, Dominion, and Zehrs banners. Using the app, Loblaw Cos. shoppers can buy food items — including meat, produce, bakery, dairy and non-perishable products — nearing their expiration date at up to 50% off.

“This is a simple tool that helps ensure that perfectly good food ends up where it belongs: on someone's plate and not in the landfill,” commented Sharla Paraskevopoulos, senior vice president of market operations at Loblaw Cos. “Our stores and our customers have told us how much they love the convenience and the savings that go along with this program. We’re excited to get the app into the hands of more customers in 2020.”

Flashfood reported that, to date, its app has topped 1 million downloads in Canada, where in 2019 the program helped divert 4.6 million pounds of potential food waste from landfills, feed more than 110,000 families and save shoppers over $10 million on groceries.

Overall, Flashfood said it has diverted more than 5 million pounds of food through its grocery retail partnerships. Besides Giant and Loblaw, Flashfood retail partners include Hy-Vee and Meijer, and the app has been piloted with Canadian grocers Longo’s and Farm Boy (part of Sobeys Inc.), as well as with Target Corp. Flashfood has said it plans to make its app available at more U.S. stores.

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