FlashFood Helping the Environment and Saving You money
You may have seen them before, large silver refrigerators in the front of your local supermarket with the name Flashfood sprawled across the top. It's likely you never gave it much thought and continued on with your day. But inside those fridges are great deals on everyday produce that just might interest you.
Started by Josh Domingues an Ontario native. Flashfood is an app that connects supermarkets with aging but perfectly safe food to consumers. This allows the supermarkets to save money, reduce waste and its associated costs. Not to mention saving consumers money as well. Making it a win win win. The origins of Flashfood came after a conversation with his sister who was distraught after being forced to throw out $4000 worth of food following a catering job. The sheer amount of waste was so shocking that at first Josh assumed it must have been a joke. Unfortunately, it was no joke but rather revealed just how wasteful some supermarkets are. Soon following this, Josh was on a mission to figure out what could be done. After talking to some supermarkets, he learned that food approaching its end of life was nearly always thrown out. Consumers had no incentive to buy aging food when newer stock was available within reach. In response, Flashfood was created. An app helping to keep end-of-life food out of the garbage by providing discounts of perfectly good to eat food items. Now across much of Canada and a few select states (Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin), Flash Food is a force to be reckoned with, providing value wherever it goes.
At this point you might be thinking to yourself, ok that's cool, but is it really useful to me? If you are in that boat, I’ll tell you that I was too before giving it a try. The app was easy to find on both the Apple and Google Play Store. Once downloaded you need to make an account and link a credit card. After that you are off to the races. A map appears on your location showing all the supermarkets who participate and what is offered at those locations. Here is where you select which items you want to purchase and simply checkout. During the selection process you are clearly shown the best before date and the amount of savings you could incur. Following checking out you are given a receipt and a pick up deadline. Another nice thing to note is the notification alerting you not only to how much money you saved but the carbon emissions you reduced. This made the experience feel rewarding not only through the money I saved, but also the positive environmental impact. When going to pick up the selected items all you have to do is go to the customer service desk and either show the receipt or give them your name. Following that you can simply pick up your items and walk out.
So what are the conclusions? Will this app replace your typical grocery trip? Likely not, as the supply of discounted food is not consistent making it hard to coordinate purchasing a whole grocery trips’ worth of produce. However, it seems as though certain supermarkets tend to continuously have particular items on sale. If you see a particular deal you find appealing, go for it! Meats can be eaten right away or tossed in the freezer for a meal later on, past the best before date. Over time, these discounts will add up! Reducing CO2 emissions in any way is always a benefit, so, whenever you plan your next trip, Flashfood is definitely something you need to try out. It will chip a few dollars off your bill while also leaving you feeling good for benefiting the environment.