Need to Know
- Meijer has announced plans to expand the use of Toronto-based sustainability app Flashfood to all of its 242 stores starting next month.
- Flashfood is a food sustainability app aimed at reducing food waste. Shoppers purchase close-to-expiring food items at discounted prices directly through the app and pick up in-store.
- Meijer ran a short pilot of the app in fours of its Metro Detroit locations last fall and saw a 10% reduction of in-store food waste.
- In addition to Meijer, Flashfood has partnerships with Loblaw and Hy-Vee.
Last fall, Meijer began piloting a Flashfood food sustainability program in four of its locations with the hopes of eventually launching it company-wide. In an announcement this week, the retailer deemed the pilot a success, reducing in-store food waste by over 10%, and plans to take it company-wide throughout the year.
“In just a few months, we diverted thousands of pounds of food from landfills,” said Don Sanderson, group VP of fresh for Meijer. “Minimizing in-store food waste is the right thing to do for our communities and our customers. We’re excited to expand upon these efforts and offer this opportunity to all our customers.”
Flashfood is a Toronto-based company that allows retailers to upload close-to-expiring foods such as meat, produce, seafood, deli, and baked goods to the Flashfood app, making them available to users at a steep steep discount—sometimes up to 50% off.
From the app, customers select the applicable Meijer location, shop for items, pay for them directly in the app and head to the store for pick up. Once at the store, orders are confirmed with customer service and picked up at designated Freshfood counter. The idea is to save food from ending up in a landfill.
“Our team is really impressed with Meijer’s pace, their exceptional ability to execute with us and their commitment to meaningfully reduce in-store food waste in their communities,” said Josh Domingues, founder and CEO of Flashfood. “Going from a pilot to the decision to roll out chain-wide in less than 3 months with Meijer is indicative of how significant our collective impact is for every day Americans.”
North of the border, Flashfood has partnered with grocery chain Loblaw’s and is currently available in many of its stores across the country, holding true to their commitment to further reduce the environmental impact of their store operations.
Meijer’s company-wide Flashfood rollout is just the latest in the retailer’s commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2019 Meijer’s Food Rescue program donated more than 13 million pounds of food to local food banks. The Michigan-based retailer has also improved its sustainability during manufacturing processes by finding alternative solutions for food waste.
Flashfood will be available in all 246 Meijer locations by the end of 2020. The Flashfood app is available for download in the Apple App Store and Google Play.