Flashfood App Review (Tackling Food Savings in a Digital Age)

Interested in getting food at 50 percent off?  Or more to save money on groceries? Here’s my Flashfood App review.

Introduction to Flashfood

Another app to download, yes, you might be on the fence whether it’s worth it to clutter up your smart phone. Here’s a comprehensive Flashfood app review for Canadians so you can decide for yourself.  I signed up for the Flashfood App in the summer of 2019 after reading about it from Instagram. I have used it ever since for grocery shopping and helping to reduce food waste. The experience was pretty straightforward.  Here’s my detailed Flashfood App review and experience using the Flashfood App at Superstore in Canada.

Flashfood App Reviews

What Exactly Is Flashfood?

Flashfood is a food waste app in Canada and was created by Josh Domingues with the goal of reducing the large amount of grocery store waste.

Grocery stores throw out a lot of food on a regular basis that is about to expire or is too much of a surplus.

They try to discount the foods of items nearing expiry date, but a lot of food still gets thrown out.  Flashfood is an app for food deals.  Specifically an app for cheap groceries. 

The Vision Behind Flashfood

Flashfood disrupts this logistical process by providing consumers the ability to see the clearance section on their phone, and they can order the groceries and come to the store top pick it up. 

He called it ‘making the clearance section sexy’ with the Flashfood app.

Flashfood disrupts this logistical process by providing consumers the ability to see the clearance section on their phone, and they can order the groceries and come to the store top pick it up. 

He called it ‘making the clearance section sexy’ with the Flashfood app

How does Flashfood make money? 

According to the Dragons Den pitch, Flashfood makes money by taking a cut of sales made through Flashfood, a 25% cut to be exact.

I guess it’s a win-win-win for the retailer (increased marketing and eyes on products that would be thrown out anyway), win for the consumer (50%+ off groceries), and win for the environment (less food wastage). 

You can watch Josh Domingues’ Flashfood’s successful pitch to the Dragons Den on CBC here.

Understanding the Flashfood Experience

How to Navigate and Use the App

You can either browse the deals on the Flashfood app and order beforehand or check Flashfood items out when you’re at Superstore anyway (I prefer the latter because I don’t like making a special trip for almost-expiring groceries- this great idea is courtesy of Chrissy, read her review on Flashfood here).

There are new deals daily of discounted food items for delicious meals.

Flashfood App – Ease of Use Analysis

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to use the Flashfood App.

    • Open the Flashfood App and click on the location (you have to enable location services) that you are at (or locations near you)

    • When you spend $10 or more with Flashfood, you get $5 in rewards using this code: CY00TA4G

    • The Flashfood area is a fridge and some shelving on the periphery of the store (like in the customer service area/ past the cashiers)

    • Look at the items in the fridge and area and verify the quality and size of items (It was hard to see how big the items were on the app vs in person)  ** the Flashfood Fridge might be locked, so you will need to buy first and then staff will pick up for you**

    • Select your items that you are interested in and add it to your shopping cart

    • Click on the shopping cart once you’re done ‘shopping’

    • Add a payment card

    • Pay for your items.  Your receipt is ‘in the app’ on the left.

    • Head to the service counter or customer service desk and tell them you have a pick up of Flashfood orders

    • They will verify what you have and then click ‘picked up’ on their Flashfood App (and then pick up your order for you)

  • If you order prior to actually being in the store, it will tell you when you have to pick up your order by (it doesn’t have to be in the same day).

I spoke to the customer service representative at Superstore and he said that there are new products uploaded daily, and usually they start to put out the products six days before they expire.

They also add items to the Flashfood app Superstore if there is a surplus product within the store (which means you’re NOT getting almost-expiring foods!).

You should bring your own reusable bags to pick up your discounted foods.

Here’s an example of the Flashfood App offerings, you just click on it and add it to your cart.

Flashfood App

Flashfood Referral Code Benefits

Here is how to get started with Flashfood:

Using a Referral Code for Instant Credits

Here’s a Flashfood referral (or use the code CY00TA4G) where you can get $5 off after you make a minimum purchase of $10.  You will need to input your phone number and they will text you the link to download the app on your phone.

The $5 will be added as “My Rewards” and be automatically deducted on your next purchase (redeem a code using CY00TA4G).

Once you sign up you’ll get your own referral code to share with friends and family for $5 off when they spend $10.

The Food Selection of Flashfood

I was in Superstore getting my 4 boxes of econo size diapers and then thought I’d check out the Flashfood area after looking at the Flashfood App.

I was surprised because I had thought there would only be ‘one’ item of each thing listed on the app, but actually there are a number of the same items (probably 3-10 of each).  However, each produce box is unique.  They are labelled with a number corresponding to the number on the app.

What Kind of Foods Can You Find?

I checked out the boxes of produce (they are $5.00 for a numbered box of preselected produce) and it looked pretty fresh, nothing looked like it was ready to go into compost straight away.

Personal Experiences with Food Quality

I ended up buying a tub of Skyr yogurt for $1.50 (usually $3.99 to $4.99), a family size chicken pot pie for $5.49, a kale and quinoa salad for $1.99, and back bacon for $3.29 (bacon for under $3.50 these days is hard to find).

I paid with the Flashfood App and walked over the customer service and told them I have a Flashfood pick up.  They clicked “picked up” on their iPad app and that was it.  My receipt is in the app (you don’t get a physical receipt).

I had the ability to pick up my Flashfood order immediately. 

Quality and Freshness of Flashfood Offerings

The salad was still super fresh and the chicken pot pie (they were expiring the next day) was delicious.  Our family had a great lunch for $7!  I don’t usually get pre-made foods but it was a good deal and I have never tried that brand of chicken pot pie.

At another Flashfood location (a different Real Canadian Superstore), the Flashfood fridge was locked.  I bought a huge club size tray of lean ground beef, the expiry date was the next day.

The picture on the Flashfood app correlated with what it looked like in person.

Flashfood’s Impact on Food Waste

Flashfood has diverted over 50 million pounds of food away fro the landfills.  It has saved shoppers over $120 million and more affordably fed hundreds of thousands people.

Can Flashfood Really Help Reduce Food Waste?

According to Flashfood 50 million in food waste is equivalent to 95 million pounds of CO2 was diverted from the atmosphere, the equivalent of over 38,000 transatlantic flights!

Comparing Flashfood to Other Apps

Flashfood Versus Too Good To Go

Flashfood and Too Good to Go are different but both are focused on food waste and save money.  Flashfood focuses mainly on groceries rather than prepared foods.

Both are great food waste apps in Canada.

Practicalities of Using the Flashfood App

Common User Questions

What happens if you don’t pick up Flashfood on time?

If you don’t pick up the Flashfood on time, the order is considered not picked up and there will be no refund. However, they do make exceptions on certain occasions, so best to reach out to Flashfood and submit a request.

Can you get a Flashfood refund?

You cannot request a refund from the store you’re picking up your order from (for example, Superstore), you have to get a refund from Flashfood. You can request refunds within 14 days of your Flashfood purchase, but won’t refund for cancelled orders or missed pick ups.

Are there Flashfood complaints?

The main Flashfood complaints are difficulty accessing customer service on the Flashfood side (for example there is no number to call, just a chat or a message to them which can take a few days to get a response back).

How do you get a $5 Flashfood bonus?

To get the $5 bonus deposited into your account, you have to first make a minimum purchase of $10 and use a promo code (e.g. CY00TA4G). You will see your $5 credit in the Rewards section of the app that can be applied to your next purchase. 

Flashfood Refund Policy Explained

Although there is 14 days to refund your Flashfood purchase, you have to email the developers at hi@flashfood.com with a reason you would like to refund the items you purchased.  You can’t just show up at the Flashfood Partner (e.g. Real Canadian Superstore customer service) and ask for a refund.

Pros and Cons of the Flashfood App

Advantages of Using Flashfood

    • It is easy to use the Flashfood app- The process was very easy but you need data and access to the Internet.  I just picked out my grocery items on the app, put it in the shopping cart, added my credit card (you just do this once), and then paid for it.  Then I brought my items to the customer service area and they reviewed it and clicked “picked up” on their app.

    • High quality items- The meat and dairy and baked goods all seem to be high quality items.  There were PC organics dairy products, and I got a package of Canadian back bacon for $3.49.

    • Less waste- Apparently I saved 3km of carbon dioxide (it shows you your carbon dioxide savings on the app)- a little gimmicky in my opinion, but nice to know.

  • Surplus of groceries, not expiring food– It is clear that there is a surplus of certain items because they have a number of them, and you’re not getting soon to be expiring food

Limitations and Downsides

    • Flashfood Refund Process is not straightforward

    • Hard to gauge size of products– The chicken pot pie looked small or individual sized in the Flashfood app, but when I saw it in person, it was huge and family sized.

    • There is No Phone Support– Right now to reach Flashfood customer service, you email or send a message via contact form.

    • No PC Optimum Points-  You cannot collect PC Optimum points on your Flashfood purchases.  This is a major con for me- it feels weird not to be able to collect PC Optimum points on PC products!

    • Can’t Pick the Fruit/ Veggies Boxes- They have a box of produce labelled for $5.00 and although the fruit and vegetables look like quite decent quality, you can’t select what’s in them.  It’s a bit difficult to gauge the ‘value’ of the box and whether it is worth $5.00 or more.  Quite frankly from what I’ve seen I can buy the same produce for cheaper at my local mom and pop grocery store.

    • Can’t use a basket- It felt kind of weird rummaging through the Flashfood fridge and picking out my purchased items, and then taking them to the customer service area without a basket (I just didn’t want anyone to think I was doing some five finger discounting, hah).  The other RCSS’s Flashfood fridge was locked, so I guess you don’t need a basket then if the customer service personnel are going to bring it to you.

    • You don’t get a printed out receipt– Good for environment though. You can’t log in to Flashfood from a browser (only the app) and you can’t print the receipt.  I don’t know if claiming any coupons on items purchased through Flashfood, on Checkout 51 would be possible as there haven’t been anything that I bought from Flashfood that I could have used for a coupon on Checkout 51.

    • Depending on the Flashfood location, you may not be able to open the fridge to have a look at the items.

    • Sometimes Flashfood doesn’t have the item.  On a few occasions, the clerk told me that they ran out of that item even though it said it was available on the Flashfood app.  Most of the time when this happened, they gave me money back in cash.  Another time they credited money back to the credit card on file in the Flashfood app.

  • You may have to wait in line especially if the customer service line up at Superstore is long, since you ‘checking out’ with Flashfood is dependent on the customer service representative.

The Verdict: Is Flashfood Worth It?

Basically, I think the Flashfood app is pretty awesome and Flashfood is legit.

I have no Flashfood complaints, just that sometimes they don’t have the item (but you get refunded with cash).

Personal Reflections on the Flashfood Experience

When I’m planning to head to Superstore to stock up on groceries, I check out the Flashfood app to see if there’s anything worth buying for the day.

Even if I’m not planning to go to Superstore I check out the Flashfood app, there’s always something new every day.  There is no individual Real Canadian Superstore app, but they have a PC Optimum app.

There’s always a big selection of meat (lots of high quality meats at a big discount, like T-bone steak), bakery items (lots of pies for $2 or less), and dairy (lots of organic milk or cream for a big discount) that I see on the app.  Since the prices are so cheap, I would be more inclined to try something new or a brand that I’ve never tried before.

Should You Download Flashfood?

I definitely give the Flashfood App and developers a big thumbs up.  It would be even better if they more robustly expanded to other Loblaw’s.

You are helping the environment by purchasing food items and perishable goods that are nearing their expiration dates.

Wrapping Up the Flashfood App Review (Save Money on Imperfect Foods)

In summary my Flashfood App review is indeed a positive one.  In fact, Flashfood is one of my favourite personal finance apps.  As mentioned, reducing food waste, reducing your grocery bills, reducing your carbon footprint, it’s all a win-win-win to me!

It’s definitely a great way to combat food inflation in 2023 simultaneously reducing food waste and saving money.

Hope you enjoyed this Flashfood App review and found it useful to find grocery deals with the goal to save money.

The Flashfood Referral Code is CY00TA4G.

You may also be interested in:

Have you used the Flashfood App before?

What is your Flashfood app review? 

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16 thoughts on “Flashfood App Review (Tackling Food Savings in a Digital Age)”

  1. Flashfood like a great app, hopefully they will expand to more states in the US within the next few years.
    I like concept of it where you can find groceries at a discounted rate on your app and it will cut down on food waste. Thanks for spreading the awareness of this app GYM!!

    Reply
  2. Thank you for the great review! I think flashfood is now at Meijer in Kentucky, so I’m eager to try it out. My question is this: if the items are kept on open-shelving or a (possibly) unlocked fridge that may or may not be behind the customer service desk, how do you know that someone who happens to be shopping that day who doesn’t know about flashfood won’t walk by, see a great bargain, and pick up an item you ordered and paid for on the app? So to sound so cynical…
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • @sarah- Not cynical at all! This has happened a few times where the item I ordered was not available. One of them was a numbered box kept on open shelving. They ended up refunding my money and gave me cash.

      Reply
  3. Meijer stores in Michigan have had Flashfood areas for several months. They must have put them in right after you completed this review. And the website lists several more states in the U.S. so it looks like it is starting to spread out from the midwest.

    Reply
  4. Hi
    I have been using FF for 2 years approx. The initiative for less waste is a worthy one which I support. The savings a worthwhile but….
    *The description of the products is incomplete the size is rarely indicated or the weight when meats are the item displayed
    *Though they are reduced items some of the fruit and veg should not be offered. Am not sure if I can refuse a product when it is obviously spoiled but I wont accept and pay for an item only to throw it out at home.
    * We dont have access only the store employee does, and they are a the customer service counter on busy days the wait can be quite lengthy.
    On the whole I support this action to minimise waste but please take these comments into consideration.
    thank you

    Reply
    • @france- Thanks, agree with these points, sometimes it’s hard to tell what size the product is until you see it in person and the wait for the customer service counter can be very long since it’s usually just one person.

      Reply

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