AmCap in the News: Expert Tips on How To Beat Inflation

At The Top Of This Expert's List Of Tools To Combat Grocery Store Inflation: The Flashfood App


Jake Bisenius, president and chief investment officer at AmCap Incorporated in Stamford, Connecticut, has a unique and dynamic view of the current inflationary wave impacting grocery shopping.

His firm specializes in commercial real estate developments with major grocery store chains as anchor tenants. A King Soopers in Colorado, an Aldi in Illinois and a Harris Teeter in Virginia are just some examples.

The Consumer Price Index annual inflation rate for December is down a bit from the raging highs of earlier in 2022, to 6.5 percent. Still, it's a challenge for almost everyone these days to keep the grocery store shopping list in line with item prices.

“Grocery prices rose much higher than overall inflation,” Bisenius explains. “It was about a 12 percent year-over year increase last year. Fortunately, it's only projected in the next year to be 3 to 4 percent.”

“While we're not going back to the old prices, at least we're not going to see the steep incline that we saw in 2022.”

Along with grocery store loyalty programs, coupon websites like and, and direct-to-manufacturer channels like Proctor and Gamble, Bisenius recommends a few other niche applications. One of them is the fast-growing Flashfood, which is available in parts of the U.S.

“It's an app that works with various grocers,” Bisenius explains. “When food is getting close to expiration date, the app will flash a notice to people who are in the area, along the lines of, 'Hey, do you want to buy this steak at 50 percent off?' Whatever item is about to expire in a week or so. And they'll have it for you in a separate kiosk at the store, ready for you to pick up.”

“There's a couple of other things along those lines, Misfit Market and Imperfect Foods,” he adds. “About 20 percent of your food just gets dumped in the farm fields, because it's like a carrot with two stalks or a potato with two heads. People don't like weird-looking vegetables and things like that.”

“These sites, one with a focus on organic, specialize in these misshaped items and deliver them on a weekly or even monthly basis at around 40 percent off the normal price. These are interesting services. And if you're eating mashed potatoes, who cares if it's a two-headed potato, right? You can also use these sites a la carte.”

In July, AmCap opened one of the largest Amazon grocery stores in the country in Chicago. It has walk-out technology throughout.

“You scan your Amazon membership on the way in and then as you pick things up, it sees it through the cameras and adds it up for you, and you walk out,” he reveals. “I think it's going to be interesting in the future, because you're going to see automated shopping carts, where you'll scan your loyalty card as you go into the store, into the cart, and it will scan the store for preferred products but also provide a map to other products of logical interest.”

Although it's more work, Bisenius agrees shoppers who go to a number of different locations to complete their grocery run, to tap into each place's various price advantages and deals, are smart. And that type of strategy should always, unless shopping for one, include a mass chain.

“Big mass chains like Walmart and Costco and Aldi have the ability to pressure the wholesalers, and drive down the margins from them to 2 or 3 percent, whereas a specialty grocer or small chain may be charged a 25 to 30 percent margin,” Bisenius says. “The Costco and Aldi model, they have very limited FPUs (Food Product Units).”

“They'll have one type of ketchup that's in one size, and what that does is give them incredible power over the supplier to get the prices reduced, because efficiency for the supplier involves just one bottle, one kind of container size,” he adds. “The supplier knows they're going to make a huge sale and transact a large volume, and these savings get passed on to the consumer.