Waste360 recently reported on several startup companies helping businesses reduce food waste in innovative ways, utilizing technology to make it easier for food waste generators to order inventory more accurately, measure and track their food waste, and identify opportunities to sell oversupplied food at a discount. Each of the following featured startups has built a strong client base and is making a meaningful impact on food waste reduction.
BlueCart provides restaurants a user-friendly inventory ordering system. By allowing customers the ability to order inventory for rapid delivery and to modify orders on the fly, BlueCart enables restaurants to order only what they need at the time. The system also tracks orders over time to help restaurants analyze trends and order more accurately, reducing waste related to excess inventory. BlueCart engaged a food system consultant, which found that a majority of food waste is generated at the supplier level. Subsequently, they added functionality to help suppliers offer discounts on imperfect cuts of meat or byproducts like broccoli stems. Altogether, BlueCart has helped over 50,000 foodservice venues and 7,000 suppliers reduce their waste by a collective 52%.
Winnow aims to help commercial kitchens reduce food waste. The company produces a smart scale connected to a monitor and tablet. Kitchen staff weigh wasted food and input data about what the item is and why it was wasted. The software produces daily reports, which helps kitchen staff track their waste and identify trends, allowing them to target the root causes of their waste. From a single restaurant, Winnow has expanded operations to over 30 countries, saving thousands of clients a collective $21 million and preventing the waste of 15 million meals annually.
FoodMaven helps food distributors store, sell, and donate oversupplied food. Using FoodMaven’s online marketplace, distributors can sell food that would otherwise go to waste at significant discounts. FoodMaven stores the food at its warehouse, markets the inventory online, and delivers it to the eventual buyer. This prevents the food from being wasted, allowing the supplier to recoup revenue instead of disposing of their unsold food at a total loss. The company has a no-landfill policy; food that goes unsold on FoodMaven’s marketplace is donated to local non-profits, used as animal feed, or composted. To date, FoodMaven has diverted over 1.5 million pounds of food, returning hundreds of thousands of dollars to producers.
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts assists businesses and institutions with recycling and food waste diversion. We specialize in all forms of food recovery, from source reduction and donating surplus food, to source separation of food scraps. To speak to a recycling and food waste diversion expert or to learn more about our no-cost technical assistance services, call the RecyclingWorks hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.