Meals redistribution : What can we do about losing over 30% of all grown meals?

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The headline numbers in meals waste are miserable studying. One third of all meals grown just isn’t eaten. Meals we waste consumes 20% of all freshwater, fertilizer, cropland, and landfill quantity (within the US at the least).

Determine 1 Meals Waste Hierarchy, Supply: ReFed

This can be a sector ripe for modern options. As we’ve lined earlier than, preventative options are probably the most impactful at decreasing meals waste and related useful resource use. Meals redistribution comes subsequent on the hierarchy of options, with enterprise fashions more and more shifting away from non-profit donation and into worthwhile enterprise providers and consumer-facing options.

These options are enticing to meals service and retailers

Firstly, many nations provide company tax credit on donated and diverted meals waste to assist charitable giving. This varies from 60% of web e-book worth in France to 140% of worth in Portugal (capped at 0.008% of turnover). Redistribution fashions additionally provide meals corporations discount of losses on present merchandise. Redistribution fashions can generate new income streams and product strains by repurposing present merchandise. Redistribution fashions contribute to meals waste/loss and sustainability targets.

There are three key takeaways on enterprise mannequin innovation

  1. Meals redistribution start-ups are shifting from non-profit to worthwhile enterprise fashions.
  2. Enterprise fashions are remodeling from fee and success fee-based to subscription fashions for providers comparable to actual time pricing, stock administration, and supply.
  3. Begin-ups trying to seize worth are integrating with upstream actions comparable to stock administration techniques to stop and redistribute waste as-a-service.

Competitors is rising as service choices broaden

The trade is shifting away from commission-based secondary marketplaces and in direction of subscription and contracting. For instance. Phenix now supplies its service as a subscription-based mannequin, shifting away from a commission-based mannequin primarily based on transaction and amount of waste diverted.

Redistribution-focused start-ups are providing redistribution providers as a part of a wider stock administration service, which competes with established service suppliers within the provide chain comparable to Spoiler Alert.

Enterprise fashions are searching for profitability past giving clients entry to distribution/donation-based company tax credit.

Partnerships with giant meals retailers are more and more leveraged to develop redistribution networks.

Increasing redistribution networks will happen by way of trade partnerships (Too Good To Go/Olio) and acquisition (Phenix buying My Foody).

Shoppers are supportive of meals donation and improved meals labelling options, with one examine displaying 90% of US customers supportive of those options and 80% agreeing that they have been efficient. Nonetheless, value of dwelling is ready to extend globally and scale back client’s willingness to pay for meals waste options. Analysis additionally reveals that almost all of customers assume a ‘polluter pays’ tax on meals waste would possible enhance value for customers.

There’s a hole between goal setting and motion

Giant meals and restaurant companies throughout the board are making commitments to cut back meals waste. Usually, they’re aligning with the UN Sustainable Growth Objective of decreasing meals waste 50% by 2030. Nonetheless, exercise to usher in modern enterprise fashions has been muted. Kroger have dedicated solely a $2.5 million fund by way of its Zero Starvation Zero Waste marketing campaign to spend money on start-ups throughout all the meals waste worth chain. Tesco have partnered with Olio and wish to broaden their dedication. There may be proof that start-ups are discovering clients for options that combine with stock administration, real-time pricing, and redistribution, however there may be little proof of extra direct assist of innovation.


Begin-ups growing the breadth of service choices to extend provide chain integration. It will create extra ‘sticky’ buyer engagement in addition to present optimization by way of monitoring provide chain knowledge additional upstream. Maintain a watch out for additional redistribution community enlargement by way of acquisitions.




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