New Apps Reward Customers for Buying Foods Close to Expiration Dates

The Lempert Report
March 12, 2020

Meijer has launched a new app aimed at reducing food waste all while saving customers money.

The Flashfood app allows customers to purchase food nearing its sell-by date – including meat, produce, seafood, deli and bakery products – at up to 50 percent off.

A good idea, but unfortunately the shopper execution is a bit cumbersome, which may well diminish its effectiveness. Shoppers go to the app before they go to the store, select their favorite Meijer store, choose the items they want to purchase, and pay for them directly in the app. Then, they have to go in store to pick up their items and confirm their order with customer service. The purchased food is stored in a refrigerator or storage rack located in the front of the store until the customer picks it up. Whew.

And there is another app – Cherripick that is similar.  

I spoke with  Marco Ignacio and J.C. Milam, who designed their app to provide shopper incentive for the product that sits on the edge of the shelf, I. E. the one that's nearing expiration to actually come off the shelf.

You are rewarded for buying that item that nears expiration. So if it's within three days, buy it as you normally would. It doesn't interfere with any sales deals or coupons. Do that as you may. And then after you just snap a picture of the receipt, you snap a picture of the expiration date. And then once we validated on our end, within 24 and 48 hours, cash back is loaded to your account. 

The reward, or incentive is 10% in cash back.  Also a bit cumbersome. 

So where does the 10% money come from?  In the case of Cherripick they are hoping that the retailer will ultimately fund the discount – but for now their seed capital is funding it.