If you work in the food service industry, you know that wasted food is a problem. But two Canadian apps, Ubifood and Flashfood, are working hard to create solutions. According to a UN report, one-third of food produced for humans to eat is wasted every year. In Canada, that’s more than $31 billion worth of food, according to CBC. Of course, nobody wants to waste food, and now these exciting apps are making it possible for restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and other food service facilities to generate income from their excess food, while also giving consumers the opportunity to save some cash on food expenses. Now that’s a win-win.
Ubifood is an app that was developed by Caroline Pellegrini, an entrepreneur from Montreal who worked at a bakery where she saw regular food waste first-hand. The app is a platform that allows food vendors to upload pictures of food that’s still fine to eat, but is going to be wasted if it’s not purchased by the end of the business day.
After the pictures of food have been uploaded, hungry Ubifood users can browse their options and then pay for food online before going to pick it up with the apps on-board vouchers. They can even filter vendor offerings according to their desired style of food as well as their location. Savvy shoppers can reap some serious savings too, with discounts ranging from 15 percent to as high as 80 percent.
Plus, this app makes it possible for Montreal locals to discover new food vendors they may not have heard about or been able to afford otherwise, helping to bring the community together and save the environment. Ubifood is beneficial from the vendor’s side too, as that food would have gone wasted, and now they can earn some money while also gaining new customers and bettering the environment.
Flashfood, started by Josh Domingue of Toronto, is similar to Ubifood, with a few key differences. First, it’s based in Toronto. Unlike Ubifood, Flashfood doesn’t target all types of food vendors, instead focusing primarily on grocery stores. Flashfood resells food that is nearing its expiration date, as well as food that’s still consumable but not quite ‘good enough’ to make it to the supermarket shelves.
Naturally, this app is very exciting for grocery stores, as expired foods and sub-par products can really cut into profits. Consumers win too, as they get food that’s perfectly fine to eat at a discounted price. Flashfood even has a subscription box called the Flashfoodbox, which allows consumers to enjoy discounted foods without having to do any shopping. The app does offer on-platform shopping too, for customers who want to pick out their own items.
If your food business is tired of wasting food and ready to start profiting from it, it may be time to look into joining one of these innovative apps. Not only can you offset monetary loss, but you can feel good about supporting your local community as well as the environment. You may even gain some new customers too. When there are problems, solutions emerge, and these exciting apps prove it. Turn your next batch of potentially wasted food into a meal for others to enjoy with Ubifood and Flashfood.