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Food Waste

Tech solutions for achieving global anti-wastage targets

Overview

Food waste deserves better than landfills

Global levels of food waste continue to increase, and the US alone has seen food waste triple over the past 50 years. Consumers have noticed and have begun voicing their concerns and increasingly taking action by demanding attention from corporations and regulatory bodies.

Both the United Nations and the United States government have set the goal of halving food waste by 2030.

This all bodes well for a group of companies that are attempting to create a business out of food waste.

The food waste management tech ecosystem includes developers of products that 1) prevent food wastage (i.e reduce the volume of surplus food), 2) optimize food surpluses (resale or donation of food waste and oversupply), and 3) recycles waste for food, beverages, animal feed, or industrial use.

What's driving this industry?
Market Sizing

The US food waste management market could reach USD 12-17 billion by 2025

Conservative case

USD 12 Bn

Base case

USD 14.3 Bn

Expansion case

USD 16.6 Bn

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COVID-19 IMPACT

Lockdowns and uncertainty encouraged food waste prevention and redistribution

  • Seebo reported strong growth in acquiring customers and revenue growth of nearly 400% YoY in 2020.

  • Misfits Markets had a nearly 100,000-person wait list at the end of April 2020 that it cleared by early June. Active customers and order volumes grew fivefold YoY and the company shipped to more than 400,000 customers across the US.

  • Imperfect Foods reported a doubling of customer order size YoY and triple-digit revenue growth in 2020. The company also partnered with airlines and movie theaters to purchase excess food.

  • Lean Path launched a mobile food waste measuring device for Covid-era restaurant menus to track food waste.

  • Insignia Technologies used its labelling and packaging technology to denote the freshness of face masks.

Continuous business expansion despite the pandemic

  • Hazel technologies launched operations in Chile in October 2020.

  • Food Maven , introduced a pickup option in March 2020 and drive through and delivery bulk grocery service in Colorado in March 2021.

  • Hungry Harvest announced plans in March 2021 to move to a larger distribution center to expand capacity for its new ready-made food product line of business.

  • Full Harvest , partnered with Danone in 2020 to launch a yogurt made from food that would otherwise have ended up at a landfill.

Successful funding rounds during the Covid chaos

Food waste startups completed  22 rounds of funding and raised around USD 534 million in 2020. This trend continued into 2021 with around USD 479 million raised in 7 rounds during the first four months of the year.

Market Mapping

Recycling startups account for more than one-third of food waste industry disruptors and incumbents. The majority of these companies focus on recycling food waste into edible food and beverages. Despite having attracted the least amount of funding, these players are at either the early or growth stages of product development and customer acquisition.

Businesses focusing on redistributing surplus food via online platforms represent 33% of the industry’s disruptors and incumbents with several such as Misfits Market and Hungry Harvest reaching relatively high levels of brand awareness.

Waste prevention technology is a highly funded segment of the industry, after redistribution, with funding of around USD 623 million as of March 2021. The majority of these providers offer edible coating, smart packaging, or tracking systems to manage and prevent waste in the early stages of the food supply chain.

Incumbents
Growth
Early
Seed
Pre-Seed
Waste Prevention Technologies
?
Redistribution
?
Recycling - Industrial Use
?
Upcycling - Food and Beverage
?
Environmental
Environmental
Environmental
Environmental
Walmart
IBM
Nature's Pride
AgroFresh
Apeel Sciences
Choco
Hazel technologies
Shelf Engine
Seebo
AFresh
Winnow Solutions
Renovare Environmental Inc.
LeanPath
Save Foods
Wiliot
BluWrap
Clarifruit
Orbisk
Agricycle
Mimica
Kitro
Insignia Technologies
Mori
Protera
Plant Jammer
Nabaco
Fountain9
Pinpoint Software
Freshsurety
SAVRpak
FloWaste
Kroger Co
Walmart
Republic Services
Meijer
The Giant Company
Nature's Pride
Misfits Markets
Imperfect Food
MatSmart
OLIO
Too good to go
Food Maven
Hungry Harvest
Karma
Phenix
Spoiler Alert
Full Harvest
Oddbox
Copia
Flashfood
Foodcloud
Goodr
Martie
Gander
Bonapp.eco
Republic Services
Plant Response Inc
Meijer
Nature's Pride
Fulcrum Bio Energy
Bioenergy Devco
Renovare Environmental Inc.
3PLW
BioBean
Inventure Chemicals
Keenan Recycling
Food Cycle Science
Chemicle
ALT TEX
Kellogg’s
Tyson Foods
Unilever
Caribe Juice
Meijer
Barnana
RIND
BioBean
Agricycle
ReGrained
Renewal Mill
Dash Water
Mycorena
Planetarian
Rubies in the Rubble
Pulp Pantry
Rise Products
TrendiTech Inc.
Matriark Foods
Do Good Foods
Scrappy Pet Treats
Reduced
Resauce
Take two

The Disruptors

Most startups in the food waste management industry focus on recycling food that is being wasted or redistributing them via online platforms. Most of these companies are in the growth stage, with successfully commercialized products and international expansions underway. In contrast, a smaller number of players focus on food waste prevention technologies such as packaging that extends shelf life, protective food coating, and devices that track and monitor food wastage. These startups are also mostly at the early or growth stage and have existed for several years or longer compared to players in the other segment. This dynamic can largely be attributed to the longer timeline required for food protection technologies.

However, food prevention technology companies have attracted nearly USD 623 million in funding, more than the recycling segment of the industry—in part due to high R&D, prototyping, and regulatory costs.

Waste Prevention Technologies

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Save Foods
Public - Market cap USD 14.6 mn
Apeel Sciences
640
Wiliot
269
Choco
164
Hazel technologies
88
Shelf Engine
58
Seebo
46
AFresh
33
Mori
32
Winnow Solutions
32
Protera
16
BluWrap
13
Renovare Environmental Inc.
9
LeanPath
8
Agricycle
4
Watchlist
?
Clarifruit
Plant Jammer
Orbisk
Nabaco
Mimica
Fountain9
Kitro
Insignia Technologies
Pinpoint Software
FloWaste
Freshsurety
SAVRpak

Redistribution

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Misfits Markets
527
Imperfect Food
229
MatSmart
74
OLIO
53
Too good to go
46
Full Harvest
35
Food Maven
34
Hungry Harvest
21
Karma
20
Phenix
17
Spoiler Alert
16
Gander
Unknown
Watchlist
?
Oddbox
Copia
Goodr
Flashfood
Martie
Foodcloud
Bonapp.eco

Recycling - Industrial Use

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Fulcrum Bio Energy
261
Bioenergy Devco
206
3PLW
17
Renovare Environmental Inc.
9
Food Cycle Science
0
Watchlist
?
BioBean
Inventure Chemicals
Keenan Recycling
ALT TEX
Chemicle

Upcycling - Food and Beverage

?

Disruptors

?
Funding in USD Millions
Barnana
18
RIND
8
Agricycle
4
Mycorena
2
Watchlist
?
BioBean
ReGrained
Renewal Mill
Dash Water
TrendiTech Inc.
Planetarian
Matriark Foods
Reduced
Rubies in the Rubble
Pulp Pantry
Rise Products
Resauce
Do Good Foods
Scrappy Pet Treats
Take two

Save Foods

Based in Israel, Save Foods produces a patented mix of food acids that protect fresh fruit and vegetables from microbial spoilage and pathogens. The company offers two products: SavePROTECT and PeroStar, which can be diluted in water and applied on fruits and vegetables even using existing equipment such as sprayers. The chemicals are approved by the US FDA and have received the Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) certification. Save Foods claims that its products are safe for consumption and has reduced spoilage by 50% at retail stores. The company also claims that using its products on lime is likely to result in 90% less decay and resultantly around 4% increase in profits.

As of June 2021, the company has conducted nine successful pilot trials with five commercial partners, and has treated more than 250,000 tons of fruit across the US, Mexico, Spain, Italy, and Israel. Save Foods’ commercial partners are SCiFarms, Mor International (Sharon Fruits), Planet Ag, Galilee Export and Sun Pacific (for the Cuties and 2B Fresh brands). As of September 2021, the company had seven patents granted and had seven more pending approval in Israel, the US, and Europe. Four of the pending patents are expected to be submitted for approval globally.

In June 2021, SCiFarms (a lime producer in the U.S., Canadian and European market) announced that following the successful pilot with Save Foods, it will use SavePROTECT across all its packing houses. During FY2020, the company reported a YoY revenue growth rate of 32% achieving a total sales of USD 232,274. Operating losses during the year amounted to USD 1.3 million.

In May 2021, the company raised USD 12 million via its IPO and was listed on NASDAQ. The company plans to use the IPO proceeds for research and development, to accelerate product commercialization and increase the scale of its business.

Segment:
Waste Prevention Technologies
Competitors:
Apeel Sciences, Nabaco
Disruptor Funding History

Waste Prevention Technologies:

Apeel Sciences
Wiliot
Choco
Hazel technologies
Shelf Engine
Seebo
AFresh
Mori
Winnow Solutions
Protera
BluWrap
Renovare Environmental Inc.
LeanPath
Agricycle
Clarifruit
Plant Jammer
Orbisk
Nabaco
Mimica
Fountain9
Kitro
Insignia Technologies
Pinpoint Software
FloWaste
Freshsurety

Redistribution:

Misfits Markets
Imperfect Food
MatSmart
OLIO
Too good to go
Full Harvest
Food Maven
Hungry Harvest
Karma
Phenix
Spoiler Alert
Oddbox
Copia
Goodr
Flashfood
Martie
Foodcloud

Recycling - Industrial Use:

The Incumbents

Incumbents are mainly traditional waste management and food industry giants

Most food waste industry incumbents are already established as providers of general waste management services and are now developing smart waste management techniques that involve recycling or redistributing food waste. Some leading food industry companies are also starting to adopt food recycling methods to prevent wastage including Kellog’s, Tyson Foods, Kroger, and Unilever.

There is a lack of incumbent activity in the food prevention technologies or online platform spaces, implying that these are still emerging trends within the industry. However, major IT firms like IBM are developing smart waste management solutions.

Overall, incumbents mostly appear to be developing their food waste management services in-house, although there are a few notable partnerships and acquisitions.

Waste Prevention Technologies
Redistribution
Recycling - Industrial Use
Upcycling - Food and Beverage
In House Development
M&A
Partnership
Investment

Notable Investors

No investor data is available

Funding data are powered by Crunchbase
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