Environment

Winnow: Saving Commercial Kitchens $33M in Food Waste

The company has developed a smart tech system with artificial intelligence and computer vision to help chefs reduce food waste and save money

22.10.2019 | by Reve Fisher
Photo by Fabrizio Magoni on Unsplash
Photo by Fabrizio Magoni on Unsplash

With clients such as IKEA and Hilton Dubai, UK-based Winnow is already making its mark on smart kitchen technology. It’s become the leading food management solution for contract catering, hotels, casinos, quick service restaurants, supermarkets and cruise ships—helping hospitality businesses of all sizes save thousands of dollars annually while helping the environment.

Founded in 2013, Winnow is on a mission to decrease food waste by adding smart technology to commercial kitchens worldwide. Winnow Vision, the company’s latest product, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate track food waste in commercial kitchens—the first time that AI is being used in commercial kitchens at scale.

The system uses computer vision to track and weigh discarded food with a high level of accuracy. In fact, the company claims that the programme has surpassed human levels of accuracy in identifying food being thrown away.

“This means for clients, over time, these systems will enable their kitchens to automatically register food waste without any human interaction. Food will be thrown in the bin and the data will be captured automatically,” the company said in a statement.

Considered to be the most advanced food waste technology on the market, Winnow Vision tracks data all throughout the day, enabling businesses to save time and money by helping them to adjust their food inventory.

Kitchens using Winnow Vision have an average reduction of 40 to 70 percent in food waste within six to 12 months, saving two to eight percent in food costs. Since the beginning of its partnership with Winnow, IKEA has had a 50 percent reduction in food waste in the United Kingdom alone.

“Before Winnow, we had a very hit and miss system where we couldn’t track the products that were being wasted,” the company explained. “We knew we were losing a lot in waste, but where and how we could stop the flow, that was a challenge.”

According to Marc Zornes, CEO at Winnow, Winnow Vision has already saved its clients $33 million a year in food waste, with a goal to reach one billion dollars annually by 2025.

Winnow and Zornes have received several accolades for the groundbreaking technology, including The Circulars Ecolab Award for Circular Economy Tech Disruptor, the overall “Winner of Winners Award” at the World Economic Forum in Davos and the Middle East Hospitality Award for Best Use of Technology.

Winnow has raised $12 million in Series B funding and received a loan for $8 million from The European Investment Bank. Ingka Group, Mustard Seed, Circularity Capital, D: Ax and The Ingenious Group backed the Series B round.

“We are very excited about driving the business forward in our global fight against food waste and we are grateful for the continuous support of our investors,” Zornes said. “… this investment will accelerate our technology development and business development approach to help achieve this ambition.”

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