DÜSSELDORF, Germany – Wasteless, the turnkey technology solution for reducing food waste in retail, is announcing a successful collaboration with NX-Food to bring Wasteless pricing systems into stores from METRO, one of the world’s leading wholesale specialists. EIT Food, an innovation platform of leading EU corporates and academic centers, co-funded by the EU, provided substantial support and visibility for the partnership and continues to work with Wasteless to bring the technology to more stores in Europe.
Following extensive testing, Wasteless technology will be securely and seamlessly integrated in grocery-giant METRO’s POS system. The new pricing system will first go live at selected makro stores, part of the METRO group in Poland, and a wider rollout of Wasteless’ AI-driven pricing technology is expected throughout METRO’s network of wholesale stores.
Founded in 2016, Wasteless focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions by reducing food waste in retail and wholesale, one of the top-five causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Wasteless’ technology brings optimization to the pricing of perishables, using a proprietary AI-driven markdown engine to set prices automatically. By offering attractive and transparent markdowns that integrate seamlessly in stores, Wasteless helps supermarkets keep profits out of the dumpster while saving consumers money by incentivizing greener shopping habits.
The technology Wasteless implements in supermarkets has been shown to reduce food waste by at least 40%. The company has confidence that this number will climb to 80% with further refinements of the system, including the development of the AI-engine’s capabilities (reinforcement learning). Given the fact that food waste is definitely a drag on a grocer’s bottom line, METRO can avoid operating losses on one hand. On the other hand, the introduction and roll-out of the Wasteless technology is another leap towards meeting the wholesaler’s ambitious goal of halving food waste in its own operations by 2025.
As an active partner and consultant of this project, NX-Food introduced Wasteless to METRO and currently facilitates the integration with METRO sales systems, aligning the teams of makro Poland, tech-unit METRO Digital, and METRO AG. NX-Food, founded in early 2018 within METRO, was decoupled as an independent company in October 2020, thus providing added trust with wholesaler METRO, which operates in 34 different countries and generated €25.6 billion in sales in the last fiscal year.
“In 2016, we committed to halving food waste in our own operations by 2025. Since then we have optimized our own operations but also partnered up with companies, start-ups, and NGOs along our supply chain,” said Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG. “When it comes to addressing environmental impact while improving profitability, we see high potential in the Wasteless technology. We look forward to rolling out the trial in Poland to understand how customers, as well as our own operations benefit.”
“Our mission is to help food-tech startups become more successful and to help corporations innovate sustainably,” said Clément Tischer, Head of Innovation and Partnerships at NX-Food. “The Wasteless-METRO partnership is essentially what we designed NX-Food for: bringing together a future-proof, state-of-the-art, purpose-driven food tech start-up with existing players to reshape the current status quo.”
“For METRO’s customers, Wasteless helps save money by shopping more sustainably,” said Oded Omer, Co-Founder and CEO of Wasteless. “For the store managers, the Wasteless solution is an evolution of inventory control systems. To work with a global market leader like METRO is a huge win for us as we grow and show the world what our technology is capable of. Most importantly, this is a huge win for the environment. There’s a lot of talk about sustainability in business, but it only really works if it’s also profitable.”
Founded in 2016 by Oded Omer and Yossi Regev, Wasteless fights global warming by reducing food waste in supermarkets. In addition to benefiting food retailers and consumers, Wasteless aims to help repair the food system through efficient supply chain management. Food waste reduction is considered the third most impactful measure to reverse climate change. Forty percent of food ends up in landfills, making it the single largest CO2 emitter. Wasteless’ machine-learning technology aims to eradicate food waste in retail. Backed by $7M in funding, led by Slingshot Ventures (NL) and SOSV (US) with contributions from Zora Ventures (US), and Food Angels (Germany). The company was singled out in the FAO’s State of Food & Agriculture 2019, is a recipient of the EU’s Seal of Excellence. The company won several awards including Accenture AI Award for its proprietary AI pricing engine at Seeds&Chips, at Rabobank’s FoodBytes NYC, AGFunder, Emerce, and SOSV Climate Tech 100. Most recently, the organization was selected by the World Economic Forum as a leading solution to boost the circular economy.