New app could save you money, cut down on food waste

Kent County

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new app could save West Michigan shoppers a bundle on their grocery bill while also cutting down on food waste.

It’s called Flashfood — app developers say their program presents a win-win situation for both consumers and stores alike. 

It’s already been rolled out in five greater Grand Rapids-area Family Fare stores. The app allows customers to purchase foods at or near their best buy, sell by dates. Eating foods near or at those dates is completely safe.

By presenting these grocery items at discounts — up to 50 percent off — developers and grocers alike hope to cut down on the food that is being throwing out.

Customers are encouraged to make their food orders on the app where they can see what is on sale and how close to its best by date each item is. 

Customers will then pay for their desired items through the app, store employees will take their items to a refrigerated container near the front of the specific store and hold them until you arrive.

One thing to keep in mind, items you purchase will be held until they surpass their sell by date. After that passes, the store will throw away your items, regardless if they have been paid for or not.

This aligns with grocery store policies that state they aren’t allowed to release items past their best by dates.

The app was first used in a pilot program earlier this year in Detroit-area Meijer stores. Since the start of the program, Meijer reported a 10 percent reduction in food waste.

Meijer announced it will soon provide Flashfood at all 246 grocery stores through the Midwest.

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