Canadian grocery stores have evolved past pink-tagged discount shelves and have come up with a higher-tech discounted food program that benefits shoppers, stores, and the environment. The Flashfood app allows participating grocery stores to list foods that are up to two weeks from expiring at a discounted price, usually 50 percent. Shoppers can buy these items through the app and pick them up at designated areas of the stores.
The app is a big success. It has participating stores in every province in the country and even across the border in Wisconsin and Michigan. The company has partnered with Meijer and Hy-Vee and will soon be more widely available in U.S. stores.
The success of the app is no surprise. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Stores are able to sell items they would otherwise end up throwing away and customers get perfectly good items on discount. The app has 300,000 active users and sells 75 percent of the goods listed. The pre-purchase feature allows shoppers to know what they can cross off their list before they even enter the store and even plan meals around available discounted products.
Food waste contributes enormously to carbon emissions when it decomposes in landfills. We have covered other strategies, such as kitchen gadgets and composting, and this app is yet another solution for improving the efficiency of our food distribution systems to reduce food waste.