App that saves shoppers up to 50 percent on food now available at Giant markets in Chester County | Coronavirus

Will Kreznick

WEST CHESTER—A popular app that lets shoppers save up to half price on some food items has launched in Chester County at Giant Inc. supermarkets. And during the pandemic, when many have been laid off or on furlough, those savings can prevent a trip to the local food cupboard. The […]

WEST CHESTER—A popular app that lets shoppers save up to half price on some food items has launched in Chester County at Giant Inc. supermarkets. And during the pandemic, when many have been laid off or on furlough, those savings can prevent a trip to the local food cupboard.

The flashfood mobile app helps cut down on food waste in stores by allowing customers to buy food that is nearing its expiration date at a steep discount. Produce, meat, deli and bakery items that are sold close to their ‘best before’ date can be purchased at significant savings.

For example, this week at the Giant supermarket on East Baltimore Pike in Kennett Square, Nature’s Promise organic beef strip steak that sells for $12.49 is being sold for $6.25 through flashfood. Or 8-piece chicken that sells for $6.99 is being sold at $3.49 though flashfood.

“Our goal is to reduce food waste produced by grocery stores and help people live more sustainably and shop more affordably,” said Louise Castonguay of Flashfood. “Since our launch, we’ve saved shoppers millions of dollars on their grocery bills while also diverting millions of pounds of food that would’ve otherwise ended up in landfills. This has never been more important, as food prices are rising while people are spending more time cooking at home, along with the overwhelming need for people to take climate change into their own hands and make more sustainable choices.”

Supermarkets are responsible for 10 percent of all U.S. food waste, around 43 billion pounds annually. Stores have options on food that run past its expiration date, including donating it to food to shelters, food banks and soup kitchens, send it to an anaerobic digester where produce can be turned into fuels like biogas and Compost organic waste materials for sale to soil companies.

Purchases made through the app, which can be downloaded free for iOS and Android mobile devices, can be picked up by shoppers the same day from the “Flashfood zone” area inside the Giant supermarket.

“The Giant Company is committed to doing everything it can to preserve the communities we live and work in for future generations, and reducing food waste is central to our efforts,” Sepideh Burkett, vice president of store support at The Giant Company, said in a statement. “Working with Flashfood, not only will we be providing our customers with savings on safe, high-quality food items, but we’ll also continue to minimize our environmental impact by diverting even more food waste away from landfills.”

The Flashfood mobile app rolled out late in 2019 and has since expanded to thousands of grocery markets nationwide.

Flashfood said its app has topped 1 million downloads in Canada, where in 2019 the program helped divert 4.6 million pounds of potential food waste from landfills, feed more than 110,000 families and save shoppers over $10 million on groceries.

Flashfood has diverted more than 5 million pounds of food through its grocery retail partnerships. It plans to make its app eventually available at all major supermarkets nationally. To download the app, search for flashfood in either Google Play or iOS.

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