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Top 30 food waste innovation companies revealed

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5 min read
AUTHOR: Molly Long
too good to go bag food waste innovation on the kitchen countertop, next to a coffee pot and surrounded by various produce including carrots and apples

Image courtesy of Too Good To Go

The most innovative companies dealing with food waste around the world have been revealed by the ECR Retail Loss Group.

Working with start-up monitor Co:Cubed, the ECR network of hundreds of global retailers has selected the top 30, from a long list of more than 100 highly-rated innovators.

Companies selected have been split into three categories: Prevent, Re-use and Exit. These groupings refer to practices which can either stop food waste from happening in the first place, for example through improved staff education or storage; intercept waste streams and divert them for other uses; and deal better with wasted, or near-waste food.

John Fonteijn, Chair of ECR Retail Loss, said: “Reducing food waste in retail is an essential part of doing good business and the organisations in the ECR Food Waste Innovation Challenge have the potential to save the retail industry billions as well.”

The companies which were recognised in the top 30 are:

Prevent

Afresh

A US-based AI-powered platform for tracking demand and managing orders for fresh produce in grocery stores, to alleviate some of the complexities of the supply chain.

Relex Solutions

A cloud-based service from Finland which uses AI and memory data to prevent food waste by unifying supply chains.

Smartway

A French AI-powered platform which helps in-store staff detect products approaching their expiry date, and automatically print discount labels.

WhyWaste

The Sweden-based creators of a software solution called Semafor, which helps shop staff accurately record and manage sell-by dates.

Hazel Technologies

US-based designers of the ‘hazel pouch’, a small sachet which can extend the life and quality of produce during storage.

SAVRpak

A California-based start-up which has developed a ‘preservation pouch’ which it says can triple the shelf life of leafy greens, berries and other produce.

Contronics

The Dutch producers of a technology called Dry Misting, which spreads tiny drops of water in the air to create a thin layer of mist to retain freshness, colour and nutrients in produce.

Mori

A US company that has developed a silk-based coating for food protection against the three mechanisms which cause food spoilage: dehydration, oxidation and microbial growth.

OneThird

A Dutch service which offers on-demand shelf life prediction to prevent food waste using optical sensors which can examine the inside of produce.

Freshflow

An AI-powered food supply chain platform from England, which can help staff using the innovation optimise shelves and maximise profits in a way that prevents food waste.

ClariFruit

Israel-based developers of an automated, end-to-end quality control as a service (QCaaS) platform.

TIPA

An Israeli start-up developing and manufacturing a variety of flexible, compostable packaging solutions that decompose as organic waste in a matter of months.

MIWA

A ‘complete business ecosystem’ from the Czech Republic for smart reusable packaging to help retailers and brands find a more effective way of selling and packaging goods.

Produce Mate

US-based designer of an anti-bacterial kitchen mat, which it says can extend the life of fruit and vegetables by an extra two weeks through the use of natural minerals embedded into the surface.

Peak

A joint endeavour from India and the UK which uses an AI platform to help users build and display ‘decision intelligence’ applications which can improve sustainability.

Infratab

A start-up from Los Angeles that uses smart sensors and software to monitor, track and trace the condition of perishable items.

Evigence Sensors

An Israeli tech company which has developed sensors for monitoring the shelf life of perishable products.

BinBreeze

Canadian inventors of the “world’s first” compost powder, capable of eliminating fruit flies, odour and moisture from compost bins naturally.

Re-use

Seab Energy

The England-based designers of micro power plants that can turn food and other bio-wastes into heat, electricity, water and fertiliser.

California Safe Soil

A US company which recovers food that supermarkets can’t sell or donate and processes it with enzymes to manufacture crop nutrition products and animal feed.

Exit

OLIO

A UK-based platform that connects neighbours with each other and volunteers with local businesses to share excess food rather than throw it away.

Wasteless

A company split between Tel Aviv and Amsterdam which helps supermarkets and online grocery stores to reduce food waste through AI-powered ‘dynamic’ pricing.

Retail Insight

A start-up founded in London that uses cognitive technology to deliver ‘significant’ waste averages for global grocery retailers.

To Good To Go

Danish-born start-up that connects consumers with excess food that retailers and hospitality businesses would have otherwise thrown away.

Gander Retail

A UK-based mobile app which automatically connects near-waste food with an audience of local consumers, providing them with a real-time view of discounted items.

Checkpoint Systems

US-based designers of an RFID technology to help stores manage and rotate stock more efficiently.

Phenix

A Parisian start-up focused on facilitating the donation of retailers’ surplus food to charity organisations.

Williot

A cloud-based service from Israel that allows retailers and producers to track the storage conditions of produce through tags that enhance quality control measures.

Happy Hours

A Belgium-based company that collects unsold products that would otherwise be thrown away and sells them through a mobile app.

Spoiler Alert

The Boston-based designers of a software which allows food companies to sell excess and damaged inventory more effectively.

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