Innovation That Matters

Karma connects consumers with restaurants and grocery stores wanting to sell their unused food at a discount. | Photo source Karma

Swedish startup develops a smart refrigerator to reduce food waste

Food & Drink

Karma’s new storage system aims to streamline the process of helping consumers purchase food items before they go to waste.

Spotted: Swedish startup Karma, whose app connects consumers with businesses such as restaurants and grocery stores wanting to sell their unused food at a discount, is now developing a smart refrigerator to help further reduce food waste. The startup is partnering with appliance manufacturer Electrolux on the device, which users will be able to unlock with the Karma app. 

Grocery stores and restaurants taking part in the project can store their surplus food in the fridges, which will be located in places such as underground stations, for users to pick up on the way home.

According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, around one-third of all food produced globally is wasted each year, including around 40 to 50 per cent of root crops, fruits and vegetables. This amounts to a total of 1.3 billion tonnes and almost $1 trillion in waste. 

Springwise has been spotting several innovations aiming to help grocery stores and restaurants reduce food waste, including a Danish app, Too Good to Go, that offers a similar service to Karma in terms of connecting consumers and businesses. There’s also a supermarket chain in Finland that offers a “happy hour” when customers can purchase items that may soon expire at a steep discount. 



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