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Innovator Profile: Whywaste Powers Inventory Optimization To Reduce Retail Food Waste


The Coresight Research team will attend and participate in this year’s Groceryshop conference, which will be held on September 19–22, 2022, in Las Vegas, US. Groceryshop 2022 will explore the changing grocery landscape and help businesses navigate the rapid rise in e-commerce, the latest business models and technologies, and the shifting consumer behaviors that are impacting the industry

On September 19, 2022, Deborah Weinswig, CEO and Founder of Coresight Research, will emcee and feature on the judging panel of Groceryshop 2022’s “Shark Reef” startup pitch competition, which will see 12 early-stage innovators compete to win the Judges’ Choice and Audience Choice awards. In the lead-up to the event, we are profiling the participating innovators.

This report forms part of our Innovator Profile series, which focuses on emerging technologies that are disrupting traditional retail and fuelling innovation across the retail value chain. We present Whywaste, developer of an inventory management platform designed to help retailers and grocers track and reduce food waste. Coresight Research collaborated with Whywaste to offer insights into its capabilities and offerings.

Areas of Innovation

Coresight Research categorizes the 12 participating innovators into three areas of innovation in retail: fulfillment and sustainability; product marketing and merchandising; and AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and automation. Whywaste falls under “fulfillment and sustainability.”

Fulfillment (including the last mile) is often one of the most complex and costly processes in the supply chain, while sustainability is increasingly gaining attention from stakeholders. Technology innovators focused on these areas can assist brands and retailers in improving efficiency, transparency and sustainability in the supply chain, as well as supporting them in saving costs.

Whywaste: In Detail


Gothenburg, Sweden

Funding Stage


Total funding raised: $1 million

Company Description

Founded in 2015, Whywaste offers an inventory management platform to assist retailers and grocers to reduce food waste in their stores. The company’s range of digital solutions center on making food expirations easier to track, enabling retailers to better manage their food inventory to maximize its utility and reduce the probability of waste or spoilage.

Whywaste’s platform includes date-checking technology that keeps users informed of when products are due to expire. Product information is gathered and collected by store employees who scan items using an app. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to dynamically discount products based on a specific product’s cost, expiration and quantity, to clear the products from shelves in the desired timeframe. The company’s platform also enables easy donation of food items, helping retailers find an appropriate destination for their products.

Retailers can monitor key metrics using the company’s business intelligence feature, including tracking active markdowns across stores and products most commonly wasted and or out of stock, to drive future efficiency in food inventory management.

Source: Company website


What Problem Is the Company Solving?

Food waste is a major social and environmental problem in the US, as well as in many other countries, which leads to potential revenue loss as retailers throw items away. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), 30%–40% of the country’s food supply is wasted each year. About 30% of surplus food in US grocery stores goes into landfills, according to ReFED, and edible food is also discarded by restaurants, agriculture and consumers. Coresight Research estimates that food waste costs the grocery industry $16 billion in net income annually.

Managing food inventory to simultaneously optimize product sales and minimize waste can be difficult to execute accurately track or very labor and time consuming. This can be especially challenging for retailers and grocers managing large quantities of food inventory that expired at very varied rates.

Whywaste’s solutions help retailers to better track food expiration through notification systems, optimize strategies to facilitate product clearance before expiration and redirect food to donations. The platform’s automation and AI-driven analysis reduces the labor required from store workers as well as reducing food waste to drive revenues and improve environmental sustainability.

Market Opportunity

Given the scale of food inventory waste in the US, there is a significant opportunity for retailers to improve their inventory management and thus increase sales and reduce costs.

In terms of sustainability, according to a Coresight Research survey conducted in October 2021, 63% of large grocery retailers in North America view food waste reduction as very important in meeting corporate sustainability goals. Furthermore, consumers are taking an increasing interest in retailers’ environmental and sustainability policies. For 13.1% of US consumers, sending zero waste to landfills is the top factor they consider when evaluating a retailer’s environmental sustainability as of Coresight Research data from July 2022, up 39% from August 2020. Retailers should focus on incorporating sustainability practices into their businesses to attract environmentally conscious consumers.

What We Think

Food waste is currently a major problem for US and grocers, giving rise to a need for solutions that increase inventory utilization. Retailers should look to technology companies with innovative technology-based and AI-enhanced solutions to help them track, manage and move their inventory efficiently.