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Trending: Food-Focused Tech Solutions Helping Slash Waste While Recouping Revenue

Image credit: Winnow Solutions

Food waste may be on the rise, but startups across the globe are developing new solutions to drive waste — and costs — down to an all-time low.

With US food waste topping $200 billion a year, startup goMkt has developed a new food shopping platform designed to connect consumers with retailers offering special deals on food that would otherwise go to waste. Through its discounted “flash sales,” goMkt helps divert food from landfill while enabling businesses to recoup potential lost revenue.

The app features an initial group of retailers including Key Food, Oren’s Daily Roast, Butter Lane Bakery and By Suzette, and is available for both Apple and Android devices.

“The United States spends more than $200 billion per year on food that is never consumed, an incredibly unfortunate — and unnecessary — phenomenon that has serious social, economic and environmental consequences,” said Matthew Holtzman, tech entrepreneur and Founder of goMkt. “The growing problem of food waste is difficult to solve for myriad reasons including logistics, the complexities of perishable items and the lack of a formal market, which is what we are working to help solve — with a simple system for buyers and sellers of surplus inventory to connect and transact.”

goMkt’s first product is a direct-to-consumer platform designed for retailers, who can create exclusive and immediate “flash sale” offers to publish manually or on a recurring basis. Once an offer is published, goMkt users can then make a purchase before heading to the retailer to collect their items. Aside from the savings, the app makes it easy for consumers to find discounts and specialty items at their favorite stores, and to discover new locations.  

“We’ve been waiting for something like this to come along for quite some time,” said Nidal Hassen, store manager at Key Food. “At a time when grocers and food retailers are facing the challenges of today’s shifting retail landscape, goMkt presents a very practical and invaluable tool designed to support our bottom line as well as our sustainability goals.”

The goMkt model relies on brokering transactions to recoup revenue and non-cash benefits for clients. It will begin by focusing on a business-to-consumer model before expanding into a business-to-business marketplace and alternative recycling channels.

goMkt isn’t the first to employ a direct-to-consumer model to fight food waste. Last year, French startup Zéro-Gâchis launched a suite of tools that businesses can use to discount products nearing their expiration date and communicate these discounts to consumers. In 2014, Germany’s Food Loop won the SB Innovation Open for its platform that allows retailers to promote discounted “best before date” deals in real time, directly to users’ smartphones.

Meanwhile, Winnow, a UK-based tech startup targeting food waste, has raised $7.4 million in funding in a round co-led by Circularity Capital.

The philosophy of what gets measures, gets managed is at Winnow’s core. Launched in 2013, the startup has created a smart meter technology and app that allows kitchens to measure and record exactly how much food is being wasted. The system provides both real-time and regular reporting on transparent and measurable data, making it easy for businesses to identify areas for improvement. Companies such as IKEA and Sofitel have already adopted the technology.

According to Winnow, food waste accounts for approximately 5–20 percent of all food purchased. This has considerable implications for both business performance and the environment, but Winnow claims that its system can help cut food waste in half and drive down costs. To date, the technology has delivered £7.5 million in savings and helped hundreds of kitchens around the globe reduce their food waste.

In addition to its latest funding round, the app has been nominated for a 2018 Circular Award under the Tech Disrupter category, along with chemical regeneration technology Evernu, Apple and AMP Robotics

Launched in 2006, Sustainable Brands has become a global learning, collaboration, and commerce community of forward-thinking business and brand strategy, marketing, innovation and sustainability professionals who are leading the way to a better future. We recognize that brands today have… [Read more about Sustainable Brands]

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