Has an AI Company Finally Found a Solution to Global Food Waste?
One startup that goes by the name Winnow, has dedicated their entire business to solving our wasting- of- food crisis, specifically in the food service and hospitality industry. In fact, just last month, Winnow managed to raise $20m funding (in part through a series B funding round) to solve this global problem.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), approximately one third of food produced globally is wasted each year. As a result, around $1 trillion worth of edible food is thrown away. When isolating the hospitality industry to review these figures, it has been noted that this industry alone contributes to 10 percent of total food waste. This is where Winnow comes in.
Founded in 2013 in London, Winnow’s technology has created a set of scales that lie beneath a food waste bin; a touchscreen display is attached above the waste bin, where staff interact with the touchscreen system to note what type of food has just been thrown away.
“This year we launched our ground-breaking AI product Winnow Vision, and chefs using Winnow around the world are saving $33m worth of food from going to waste annually,” said Marc Zornes, CEO at Winnow. “We have set a target to save our customers $1bn by 2025, and this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.”
Winnow plans on using the combined $20 million toward expanding its presence in international markets. Their product is already being used by chefs at 1,000 different locations in 40 countries, including companies like Ikea that have already incorporated the Winnow Vision into its stores.
According to Winnow, kitchens using their product should see a reduction in waste anywhere between 40-70% within the first six months to a year. Anywhere between 2-8% in food cost savings should be expected.
Within the last several years, we have been witnessing more and more companies using new technologies, such as AI, to create life-changing, transformative products.
According to the Industry 4.0 Market, Technologies & Industry: 2019-2023 report, within the next few decades businesses will establish global networks that incorporate their machinery, warehousing systems and production facilities in the shape of cyber-physical systems. The report explains Industry 4.0 is a growing market, expected to reach $1 Trillion by the early 2030.
Global competition in the manufacturing sector is becoming fiercer, and unprecedented opportunities to optimize production processes are arising. The report explains that the major winners might be those that control Industry 4.0 platforms, software layers that syndicate various devices, information and services, on top of which other firms can build their own offerings.
The Industry 4.0 market & technologies race is led by the global tech giants that invest billions of dollars in Industry 4.0 products R&D, M&A, commercialization and internal use. The major “winners” might be those that control Industry 4.0 Platforms , software layers that syndicate various devices, information and services, on top of which other firms can build their own offerings.
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