App can get you a deal at Meijer and keep food out of landfills


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — From clipping coupons to ringing up your own cart on your phone, grocery shopping has evolved a lot in the last few years. The newest tool people are using to save money is called Flashfood.

The app collaborates with grocery stores to get food close to its sell-by date out the door and at a discount to shoppers.

About a year ago, Flashfood rolled out in five greater Grand Rapids-area Family Fare stores. Meijer had been testing it out in Detroit and was ready to hop on board, too, but the coronavirus pandemic set everything back. Now, Meijer is going forward with rolling out the partnership at its stores in Michigan and throughout the Midwest.

It works like this: Grocery stores identify food items that are nearing their best-by or sell-by dates. They put them on the Flashfood app at discounts up to half off. Customers choose what they want and pay on the app. The items are pulled and placed in a refrigerator at the front of the store and customers pick them up.

The customer wins with the deep discount, but there’s a benefit for the stores as well. They’re not filling dumpsters and landfills.

“Going forward, we really feel like this is one way we can be more responsible as we serve our customers. But it’s also opened up more things about how we order and how we mark product down, how we build production logs. We’re trying to look at this holistically with the overarching goal of reducing waste and this is definitely a great opportunity for us to partner with Flashfood to do so,” Meijer Eastern Regional Vice President Matthew Craig said.

Another benefit Meijer has seen as it has rolled Flashfood out in other markets is that new customers, people who had not previously been shopping at Meijer, have switched stores to be more environmentally friendly.

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