Vallarta Supermarkets has begun piloting the Flashfood food waste reduction app in five stores.
Toronto-based Flashfood said Wednesday that the test will bring the mobile app to Los Angeles County shoppers in Palmdale and Lancaster, Calif., for the first time, expanding Flashfood’s presence across the United States from coast to coast. The free app 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.
Items ordered are stored in a 'Flashfood zone' in a Vallarta Supermarkets store until customers arrive to pick them up. (Photo courtesy of Flashfood)
“Partnering with Flashfood enables us to connect our communities with discounted groceries at their local Vallarta store,” Andrew Lewis, vice president of marketing at Vallarta Supermarkets, said in a statement. “As a proven sustainability leader, Flashfood will not only help our shoppers save up to 50% on groceries but will also effectively reduce the amount of food reaching the landfill and further our commitment to zero waste.”
Under the pilot, the Flashfood program is available at three stores in Palmdale (440 E. Palmdale Blvd., 1803 E. Palmdale Blvd., 38118 47th St. East) and two stores in Lancaster (815 E. Ave. K, 1801 West Ave. I). Overall, Sylmar, Calif.-based Vallarta Supermarkets operates 53 stores throughout California.
Flashfood’s app enables grocery customers 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 retrieved by customers.
According to Flashfood, its program brings shoppers savings of up to 50% while reducing the amount of good food reaching landfills. The company said that, to date, its app has diverted 40 million pounds of food from landfills and has saved shoppers more than $100 million on their groceries.
“An estimated one in nine Americans are food insecure, including more than 15% of shoppers in Lancaster and Palmdale,” stated Flashfood CEO and founder Josh Domingues. “We are proud to partner with Vallarta, who is deeply committed to serving their community to offer shoppers more affordable groceries, while in turn reducing food waste. This pilot partnership is exciting because it also marks Flashfood’s entrance into the West Coast and expands our footprint across the country.”
In total, more than 1,210 grocery stores in the United States and Canada participate in the Flashfood program, including Stop & Shop, The Giant Company, Giant Food, SpartanNash (Family Fare and Martin’s Super Markets), Tops Friendly Markets, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Hy-Vee, Wakefern Food Corp. (Price Rite Marketplace) and Loblaw Cos. (Loblaw’s, Real Canadian Superstore, NoFrills, Maxi, Zehrs, Dominion, Independent, Provigo and Wholesale Club banners).