5 Questions With: Josh Domingues

Josh Domingues is the founder and CEO of the Flashfood app, which is now in choose Rhode Island shops. It’s utilized by grocers to put up surplus meals or objects nearing their best-by date, in addition to discounted objects. Shoppers can then see the offers at taking part shops closest to them, pay for objects instantly within the app and decide them up.

Domingues spoke with Providence Business News about how the app may also help result in lowered meals waste, elevated entry to wholesome meals at reasonably priced costs for the marginally meals insecure, recouped income for shops and extra meals visitors.

PBN: Without the Flashfood app, consumers would wish to go retailer to retailer to see what may be obtainable when it comes to marked-down meals nearing its best-by date, is that correct?

DOMINGUES: That’s proper. The app facilitates a fast and simple pickup that enables consumers to keep away from the road at common checkout aisles and go to the Flashfood Zones situated on the entrance of the shop to seize their order. Purchasing objects upfront on Flashfood helps consumers plan their meals for the week, cut back time spent buying and save on their grocery invoice by displaying them the lowest-cost meals obtainable on the retailer earlier than they make their grocery listing.

PBN: What social and environmental issues does the Flashfood app remedy?

DOMINGUES: Each yr, supermarkets throw away about 133 million tons of meals, which is almost $37 billion of loss. This is due partially to the truth that grocery shops have a surplus of meals objects that attain their “best by” date every day. Food waste is the only largest class of fabric positioned in municipal landfills throughout the U.S. – many [of which are] completely good meals objects. Flashfood has diverted greater than 34 million kilos of meals from landfills, which interprets to 62.7 million kilos of greenhouse fuel emissions that haven’t escaped into the environment.

Flashfood is a recreation changer for households combating larger meals costs and consumers who expertise marginal or low meals safety. Flashfood additionally supplies entry to nutritious meals, together with meats, fish and produce at a lesser value.

So, customers profit and grocery shops profit from decreasing “shrink,” recouping in any other case misplaced revenues and elevated foot visitors whereas chopping their operation’s carbon footprint.

PBN: This looks like an important instance of expertise addressing a social and environmental trigger, not solely client demand. How did you give you this concept?

DOMINGUES: I used to be impressed by a dialog with my sister, who was working as a caterer on the time. She known as, saying that she had simply thrown out hundreds of {dollars} of meals after an occasion was canceled. This cellphone name acquired me fascinated with the place else meals was being wasted throughout the availability chain. I started researching and the extra I discovered, the extra passionate I grew to become about meals waste.

After many months of studying and assembly with folks throughout the availability chain, it grew to become clear that there was a considerable alternative to scale back meals waste in grocery shops and supermarkets.

PBN: Take us by the logistics. Does a retailer mark down its meals objects every day or weekly and cargo choices into the app?

DOMINGUES: Posting objects on Flashfood is part of a taking part retailer crew member’s every day routine and there are new objects listed within the app every day. The grocery retailer crew culls for objects reaching their best-by date in every division every day and once they determine an merchandise, they scan the barcode and put up it within the app for consumers to see and buy.

When utilizing the app, consumers can see obtainable objects at their nearest taking part shops. For instance, they could see a produce selection field – usually offered for $5 – within the app. They choose the objects they’d like to purchase and full the acquisition inside the app. When the objects are prepared for pickup, prospects merely go to the shop, retailer crew members verify the title related to their order and assist them seize their objects within the Flashfood Zone.

PBN: Are there any new app options?

DOMINGUES: Users can view their complete financial savings and the CO2 emissions they’ve saved over time whereas utilizing the app. It’s a characteristic that customers have discovered priceless as a result of they’re capable of see how a lot cash they’ve saved and the constructive influence they’ve made towards local weather change. In basic, our focus is to carry Flashfood to extra shops and consumers across the U.S. and proceed to extend meals choices obtainable by way of the app.

Our shops have enjoyable with all this, too! Our produce packing containers are widespread, and we’ve seen shops create themed packing containers. For instance, we’ve seen tomatoes, garlic and onions in a “pasta sauce” field, or pineapples and lemons in a “pina colada” field.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing author.

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