Wakefern Food Corp.’s Price Rite Marketplace has begun testing the Flashfood food waste reduction app in western New York.
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.
So far, four Price Rite stores are enabling customers to shop via the Flashfood app, including two locations in Buffalo and one apiece in Cheektowaga and Amherst, the companies said yesterday. The Flashfood discounts are up to 50% off selected food items.
“Partnering with Flashfood is a natural next step as we continue to create environmentally friendly neighborhoods and exceptional value for shoppers,” Price Rite Marketplace President Jim Dorey said in a statement. “We are proud of the concerted efforts our stores have made over the years to minimize our environmental footprint and look forward to seeing the impact of our new partnership with Flashfood.”
Available on iOS and Android platforms, Flashfood’s app allows shoppers to browse deals at participating stores on fresh foods approaching expiration. Purchases are made directly through the app, and shoppers pick up their order on the same day from the “Flashfood zone” area inside the store. Items purchased are stored in a refrigerator or on a storage rack until picked up by customers.
“We’re thrilled to work with Price Rite Marketplace as our newest partner committed to fighting food waste while helping their customers save significantly on their groceries,” commented Josh Domingues, CEO of Flashfood. “Flashfood is a triple win for our partners, the planet and people. We look forward to offering great deals to Price Rite Marketplace shoppers and working together to end retail food waste.”
Price Rite, part of the Keasbey, N.J.-based Wakefern retail cooperative, operates 62 value-focused supermarkets in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Maryland.
Foods bought through the Flashfood app are stored in a refrigerator or on a storage rack until retrieved by customers.
The pilot with Price Rite marks Flashfood’s second recent rollout in western New York. Last month, 17 more Tops Friendly Markets in the Buffalo area began participating in the Flashfood program, for a total of 50 stores overall since the app’s launch at the grocery chain a year ago.
To date, Tops and Flashfood have fed more than 3,000 families affordably, saved customers an average of $108 off their monthly grocery spend, diverted more than 150,000 pounds of food from landfills and saved the emissions equivalent of 667,885 miles driven by the average vehicle, Flashfood reported.
“Many of our customers were among those hit hard by financial challenges over the past year, and partnering with Flashfood allows us the opportunity to help the communities we serve gain access to discounted groceries,” stated Jeff Culhane, senior vice president of merchandising at Williamsville, N.Y.-based Tops, which has 162 supermarkets in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. “We are excited to expand the program with Flashfood and believe it will help us divert food from being thrown in landfills while also saving our shoppers thousands of dollars.”
Flashfood noted that its app also helps grocers earn revenue on items that otherwise would be counted as a loss. The company said its technology can cut down on shrink, improve retailer EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) by 3% to 5% and help reduce their carbon footprint.
“Approximately $37 billion worth of food is thrown out each year in the U.S. at the retail level, while an estimated one in nine Americans are food insecure,” according to Domingues. “This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed by all of us working together toward smart, forward-thinking solutions that help people and the planet.”
Other U.S. and Canadian grocery retailers partnering with Flashfood include Ahold Delhaize USA (Stop & Shop, Giant/Martin’s ), Meijer, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, SpartanNash (Family Fare and Martin’s Super Markets) and Loblaw Cos. (Loblaw’s, Real Canadian Superstore, NoFrills, Maxi, Zehrs, Dominion, Independent, Provigo and Wholesale Club banners).