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Tops turns to app that helps reduce food waste through flash sales

Nick Lippa

Tops Friendly Markets is starting a new program that aims to reduce food waste. The local grocery store chain is allowing six of their Buffalo area stores to offer food nearing their sell-by-date at up to 50 percent through the app Flashfood.

Flashfood, which is based out of Toronto, lets shoppers purchase food directly off the app before being available for pickup.  

Director of Marketing Edward Rick said Tops recycled 834 tons last year. 

“We think we can get this to people as opposed to a recycling program. Also get it to people so that the food isn't wasted and can be immediately consumed and get it to people's kitchens for that night's dinner,” Rick said. “So we love the idea of that. The last thing we want to do as a food grocer, is to waste food.”

Rick said if the program does well, they will look to expand it to other Tops locations outside of the Buffalo region.

“Flashfood as a company found this idea to leverage technology to let people not have to be in the store and find these great deals and purchase them right through the app very easily and quickly,” Rick said. “So for groceries, this is a great way for us to get those items out to customers and not rely on them just hopefully finding them.”

The six locations using the programs to start are located in West Seneca, Amherst, Cheektowaga, Alden, and the Elmwood Avenue location in Buffalo.

  • 355 Orchard Park Rd., West Seneca, NY
  • 3980 Maple Rd., Amherst, NY
  • 3865 Union Rd., Cheektowaga, NY
  • 9660 Transit Rd., Amherst, NY
  • 2101 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY
  • 12775 Broadway, Alden, NY

Nick Lippa leads our Arts & Culture Coverage, and is also the lead reporter for the station's Mental Health Initiative, profiling the struggles and triumphs of those who battle mental health issues and the related stigma that can come from it.