FRIENDS against Food Waste: Tackling food waste with tech - NX-Food brings Wasteless to METRO stores

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Photo: Wasteless

Wasteless, the turnkey technology solution for reducing food waste in retail, is announcing a collaboration with NX-Food to bring Wasteless’ pricing systems into stores from METRO. The partnership is supported by EIT Food, an innovation platform of leading EU corporates and academic centers, co-funded by the EU.

Following extensive testing, Wasteless technology will be seamlessly integrated in grocery-giant METRO’s POS system. The new pricing system will first go live at selected makro stores in Poland. 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.

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    Photo: Wasteless

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).

“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."

Given the fact that food waste is 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.

“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.”

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    Photos: Wasteless

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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.

“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.”

The NX-Food visual branding and website are developed by dombek—bolay and Naasner Office, in close collaboration with the NX-Food team.