Strategic advice for the food and beverage industry

An app on a mission

Despite being ranked the third most environmentally friendly country in the world, Sweden wastes 1.2 million tonnes of edible food every year. Globally, a third of all food produced is thrown away. Aiming to change this, four young Swedish entrepreneurs got together and launched food waste app Karma in November 2016.

The app allows retailers and foodservice companies to sell any surplus food at half price by simply taking a picture of it and uploading it on the app. The products – ranging from bread and pastries to smoothies and takeout meals – usually sell within minutes, and vendors then decide when the food can be picked up by the buyer.

Karma claims to offer retailers as much as $57,000 in additional annual revenue, and provide free marketing to the value of up to $40,000 per month. The app currently has over 350,000 users and is connected to more than 1,500 retailers – including a major hotel chain and the country’s biggest supermarket chain – in 150 cities across Sweden.

While rescuing 175 tonnes of food, Karma has also managed to raise a total of $18 million in funding from various angel investors and venture capital funds. February 2018 saw the launch of Karma in London, where it is currently connected to around 400 retailers, and the ultimate aim is to make Karma a globally-available phenomenon.

The success of Karma is no surprise when considering the shifts in consumer mentality. It is no longer enough for businesses to do just a little bit of sustainability work on it on the side. And with more and more companies using sustainability as a USP – take for example Barnana in the US and Löfbergs in Sweden – the pressure is on companies to show that they care.

By Mikaela Lindén

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Posted in Editorial, Mainsite

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