FoodLoop, an app that will show which supermarkets has items that are nearing their expiration date, will soon launch in Germany. That usually means they become cheaper and that is beneficial for the consumer, the supermarket and the environment, the founder believes.
Bar code and ERP system
German FoodLoop, backed by the European Union, will soon launch an app that is meant to fight food waste in supermarkets. A new type of bar code, called DataBar, will also contain the expiration date.
"FoodLoop has developed a system that will automatically recognize products that are nearing their expiration date through the ERP (enterprise resource planning) system and change the price accordingly", the start-up based in Cologne said. "Interested consumers can use the app to check in real-time which products in which supermarket has been lowered in price." They will not be able to see the size of the discount, but colour codes show how many items are left (yellow is 'below 10').
It has already received several starter awards and will soon be launched in 2 bio supermarkets and a bakery chain in Bonn. "Our goals are quite ambitious: every supermarket worldwide should have FoodLoop by 2025", founder Christoph Müller-Dechent said. "To reach that, we have launched a strategic partnership with SAP, world's largest ERP system developer."
Solution for 90 million tonnes of food per year
It is estimated that some 90 million tonnes of perfectly edible food is thrown away in the European Union on a yearly basis. The reason it gets thrown away, is because it has reached the expiration date. In Germany, some 550,000 tonnes, worth 1.5 billion euro, is thrown out.
"On a daily basis, every supermarket gets rid of 2 karts full of fresh food, with a yearly bill worth tens of thousands of euros", the FoodLoop founder said. "It is understandable that supermarkets want to boast fresh foods and do not want to harbour products near their due date. It is also understandable that consumers choose fresh meet, fruit and vegetables, especially if they are equally priced to products near the expiration date. But what if that apple has become cheaper because of that? Would that not be an advantage to both the consumer and the supermarket?"