( SpartanNash )

Grand Rapids, Mich.-based  SpartanNash is piloting a mobile app that the retailer says has the potential to both reduce food waste and save consumers money.

The Flashfood app, piloted at five of its West Michigan Family Fare stores, allows shoppers and community nonprofits to purchase food nearing its best-by date at savings of up to 50%, according to a news release. 

Eligible items with the app include meat, produce, seafood, deli, and bakery products.

According to the release, Flashfood is a Toronto-based mobile app that now is used in 440 grocery locations throughout Canada, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

After downloading the free Flashfood app (available on iOS and Android), customers can select a participating Family Fare store, choose the items they want to purchase and pay for them directly on the app, according to the release. 

Shoppers would then pick up their items and confirm their orders at the store’s customer service counter.
The purchased food will be placed at the front of each participating Family Fare store in refrigerators and on storage racks until the customer pick them up, according to the release.

“Customer convenience is key with the app – and so is our ability to reduce food waste while increasing access to lower-cost fresh foods,” director of retail consumer innovation Matt Bennett said in the release. “Our aisles are filled with a variety of perishable foods, and as we get near the best-by dates, we want to make sure customers know about the savings available to them. This app is a win-win for customers and the environment.”

In addition to the Flashfood app pilot, SpartanNash also works with local food banks and food pantries, according to the release, donating pantry staples and shelf-stable products as well as fresh dairy, meat and produce.

Last year, SpartanNash donated more than 5 million pounds of food, according to the release. Food also is diverted to zoos, farmers and livestock producers, according to the release.

“Reducing food waste and building stronger communities are both important parts of SpartanNash’s corporate responsibility commitment,” vice president of corporate affairs and communications Meredith

Gremel said in the release. “At SpartanNash, we are always looking for positive changes we can drive as we ‘take food places’ in more socially responsible, environmentally sustainable ways, and the Flashfood app is another way we can do that – all while benefiting our store guests and community partners.”

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