Toronto Startup Sells Massively Discounted Food to Solve a Major Problem

A new Toronto startup will significantly lower your grocery bill and prevent an abundance of perfectly good food from ending up in dumpsters and landfills.

Flashfood allows users to purchase high-quality food right before it expires at massively discounted prices.

It’s simple to use the free app: you view the flash sale on your phone, purchase it with a credit card, and pick it up that day wherever you want.

“Flashfood is essentially the discount food rack on your cellphone and it’s a means for grocery stores, restaurants, food vendors, being able to resell their surplus food before they’re going to throw it out,” founder and CEO Josh Domingues told City TV.

Domingues left his wealth management job in downtown Toronto when he found the food waste crisis impossible to ignore and knew he needed to do something about it.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 5.40.48 PM

Every year in Canada, we waste roughly $31 billion worth of food from farm to consumer.

While we’re all guilty of tossing leftovers and letting groceries go to waste in the fridge, most of the food waste happens at production, processing, and retail levels.

A major issue when it comes to food waste, however, is the logistics involving transportation and preservation – a problem that Foodflash solves.

Grocery store and restaurant staff can upload a picture of food items that are approaching their best before date and alert the app’s users what hugely discounted food items are available.

The business model works on a revenue split, whereby 75 per cent of the customer’s payment goes to the retailer and 25 goes to Flashfood.

The company is set to launch in August in Toronto before expanding into other parts of the country and the world.

“The purpose of Flashfood is much bigger than just redistributing food within our city, we want to prove our model here and expand globally to end hunger,” Domingues told me. “It’s an ambitious goal but we think we can do it.”

Thankfully, there’s (finally) a growing awareness about food waste globally, coupled with initiatives to do something about it. For example, France and Italy now have laws that require all supermarkets give unsold food to the needy. Here in Canada, Loblaws began increasing its stock of imperfect produce to be sold at discounted prices.

Flashfood brings technology into the equation with its impressive, forward-thinking model that could take off in a major way when it comes to waste reduction (and your grocery tab).