Food Waste Innovators ♻️ From marketplaces to shelf-life technology - discover 70+ food waste startups & companies helping cut down on waste.

Food Waste Innovators ♻️ From marketplaces to shelf-life technology - discover 70+ food waste startups & companies helping cut down on waste.

By
Nicola Spalding
April 26, 2021

Food waste is a hot topic. According to the 2021 Food Waste Index published by the United Nations Environment Programme, 931 million tonnes of food sold in 2019 was wasted. That amounts to 17% of all food available at consumer level, enough to line up and circle the planet seven times over. Colour me horrified.

Plus, with the world’s population expected to reach ten billion by 2050, food waste is likely to increase if something doesn’t change, and fast.

🌎 Taking action

All over, governments are laying out initiatives to win the war against food waste:

foodwaste2
Source: Reuters

The industry is also getting involved, with scientists, startups and multinationals working on solutions to tackle food waste.

  • Google is taking on the challenge with tech innovations from its ‘moonshot factory’, X, including an ‘intelligent food distribution network’ and a system which uses computer vision and machine learning to collate data on restaurant food waste.
  • In Singapore, a group of scientists have developed an AI-powered ‘electronic nose’ which assesses the freshness of meat with 98.5% accuracy, and could hopefully help reduce food waste which happens when consumers follow ‘best before’ dates rather than relying on a sniff test.

But there’s no one solution that will fix our food waste problem. Instead, the winning formula might be a combination of:

  • Preventing food waste at the source. That means consumers, food service, retailers and producers all need to crack down and take responsibility.
  • Redistributing unsold or excess food.
  • Repurposing food waste, whether into new products or a source of energy.

We've gathered 70+ food waste startups and companies you should know about.

👀 Who - The food waste innovators

As we see it, companies tend to fall into six categories under two segments: limiting food waste production in the first place, and doing something with potential food waste so it doesn’t end up in landfill. We’ve picked a few examples across each category to highlight, but there are tonnes more.


The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste takes place in September, and was set up to raise awareness of the fact that, globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. These waste fighters are trying to bring this number right down:

🌾 Agtech:

  • Tortuga AgTech raised $20M earlier this month to scale up production of its harvesting robots, which save on labour costs and reduce waste.
  • Gardin raised $1.2M in January for its optical phenotyping technology (yeah, we had to google that too) which allows farms to optimise food production, reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint.
  • RoboScienctific Ltd (£50k funding in 2016) has developed sensor technology to sniff out spoilage or disease in crops or livestock, alerting farmers before the infection becomes rife and reducing waste.

🔎 Supply chain tech:

  • Shelf Engine raised $41M in March for its intelligent forecasting and order automation technology designed to reduce grocery industry food waste.
  • Simbe Robotics raised $26M in 2019 and just announced the Tally 3.0, the latest iteration of its autonomous grocery robot which monitors store product levels and detects misplaced items, to minimise loss and waste as well as better informing stocking decisions.
  • Spoiler Alert ($5.1M funding to date) has developed a demand planning system to reduce supply chain overages and shortages, minimising waste and missed sales.
  • RipeLocker just raised $5M for its patented technology, which precisely manages the atmosphere (oxygen, pressure, CO2 and humidity) inside its containers to extend the freshness of perishables, reducing waste.

🥫 Shelf life extension:

  • Amcor unveiled the world’s first fully recyclable shrink bag for fresh and processed meat, poultry and cheese last year, designed to maximise shelf-life while maintaining food safety and reducing waste.
  • Hazel Technologies secured $70M last week for its packaging insert that preserves fresh produce by inhibiting ethylene, which plants produce as they age
  • Ynvisible ($50k grant in 2015) and Innoscentia (no public funding to date) are partnering to develop an intelligent expiry date label which monitors real-time quality of food to limit food spoilage. Similar in this space is Wasteless ($5.2M to date) with its AI-powered dynamic pricing and smart markdowns for retailers.

Apply Now: Rockstart is calling on leading AgriFood startups to fast-track their growth 📈

Rockstart is the global accelerator-VC empowering purpose-driven founders. With their  €18+ million Agrifood fund focused on agtech and foodtech startups they are dedicated to investing in top tier entrepreneurs.

Apply here if you’re an early-stage (pre-)seed AgriFood startup looking to go from early market validation to becoming a market-leading company.


At the other end of the supply chain, many companies are rescuing food which would otherwise have been wasted due to cosmetic imperfections, overproduction or a lack of secondary markets (i.e. perfectly edible), and repurposing it into something wonderful or redistributing it at a discount.

♻️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into food products:

  • Outcast Foods raised CAD10M in March to divert food waste from landfill and upcycle it into ‘nutrient dense’ food products such as protein powders and dietary supplements.
  • Grounded Foods raised $1.74M in July and just launched its great-tasting plant-based cheeses made from ‘ugly’ cauliflower which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Goodfish raised $4M in December to produce high protein snacks made from upcycled salmon skin which would otherwise go to waste.
  • NotCo and Imperfect Foods have joined forces to create NotMilk™, a dairy-free milk made with rescued produce which would otherwise have gone to waste.

☕️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into other stuff:

  • Re-Nuble raised $1.1M in November to upcycle organic compounds from unrecoverable food waste into nutrients for soilless farms.
  • Greencovery ($85k pre-seed in 2019) has developed systems to help food manufacturers recover valuable compounds from their side streams, instead of writing them off as waste. E.g. a banana flavour recovered from vinegar production.
  • Snack giant Walkers captures the CO2 from beer fermentation and mixes it with potato waste, then turns it into fertiliser and uses it for next year’s crop.
  • Kaffe Bueno raised $1.3M late last year to upcycle coffee waste into active and functional ingredients for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods.

🗑 Redistributing food before it’s wasted:

  • Imperfect Foods has raised $229.1M so far to rescue surplus and ‘ugly’ groceries and food service inventory to resell them on its own online platform.
  • UK retail giant Tesco has partnered with food sharing app and social enterprise Olio to stop edible surplus food from going to waste and help feed more people in crisis in the local community.
  • Yindii (no public funding to date) launched an app to help combat food waste in Bangkok, so restaurants and cafés can offer heavily discounted food boxes filled with food which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Too Good To Go raised €25.7M in January to expand its waste-fighting surplus food marketplace. Consumers can access food which would have otherwise been wasted by hotels and restaurants at heavily discounted prices through its app or website.

Check out our food waste solutions database for more companies.

Food Waste Solutions: Hazel Technologies, Outcast Foods, Winnow Solutions

🔮 Our predictions:

  • Consumers will demand transparency around food waste. Certain outlets now celebrate ‘ugly’ produce (e.g. UK supermarket Morrisons’ Wonky Veg), as consumers wise up to how much waste is made from retailers demanding uniformity of appearance.
  • More packaging callouts to encourage consumers to purchase upcycled foods. The Upcycled Food Association just introduced a new certification mark to give consumers clarity on the presence of upcycled food ingredients in a wide range of products. According to its research, more than 50% of consumers had increased intent to buy Upcycled Certified food when the mark was on packaging.
  • More, and better, tech to fight food waste before it happens, at both agricultural and supply chain level.
  • More focus on local production, urban farming, reduction of food transport and chill chain lifecycle.
  • A better system for food safety than arbitrary ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.
  • Frozen foods will grow even further in popularity. They’re convenient, have a long shelf life and (can be) high-quality and nutritious. Catch our deep dive into frozen as the new fresh on FoodHack+.
  • Even more tech for community-focused food redistribution, particularly through a potential post-pandemic economic crisis.
  • Movements such as ‘nose to tail’ and ‘root to stem’ will continue to grow in popularity. More chefs will set a great example, like Josh Niland at St Peter in Sydney, who is championing the fin to gill’ fish movement.
  • More meal kits which provide the exact ingredients needed, tackling overflowing cupboards of ingredients which have been purchased for one specific dish, never to be used again.

Agree with our predictions? Or have some of your own?

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Food waste is a hot topic. According to the 2021 Food Waste Index published by the United Nations Environment Programme, 931 million tonnes of food sold in 2019 was wasted. That amounts to 17% of all food available at consumer level, enough to line up and circle the planet seven times over. Colour me horrified.

Plus, with the world’s population expected to reach ten billion by 2050, food waste is likely to increase if something doesn’t change, and fast.

🌎 Taking action

All over, governments are laying out initiatives to win the war against food waste:

foodwaste2
Source: Reuters

The industry is also getting involved, with scientists, startups and multinationals working on solutions to tackle food waste.

  • Google is taking on the challenge with tech innovations from its ‘moonshot factory’, X, including an ‘intelligent food distribution network’ and a system which uses computer vision and machine learning to collate data on restaurant food waste.
  • In Singapore, a group of scientists have developed an AI-powered ‘electronic nose’ which assesses the freshness of meat with 98.5% accuracy, and could hopefully help reduce food waste which happens when consumers follow ‘best before’ dates rather than relying on a sniff test.

But there’s no one solution that will fix our food waste problem. Instead, the winning formula might be a combination of:

  • Preventing food waste at the source. That means consumers, food service, retailers and producers all need to crack down and take responsibility.
  • Redistributing unsold or excess food.
  • Repurposing food waste, whether into new products or a source of energy.

We've gathered 70+ food waste startups and companies you should know about.

👀 Who - The food waste innovators

As we see it, companies tend to fall into six categories under two segments: limiting food waste production in the first place, and doing something with potential food waste so it doesn’t end up in landfill. We’ve picked a few examples across each category to highlight, but there are tonnes more.


The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste takes place in September, and was set up to raise awareness of the fact that, globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. These waste fighters are trying to bring this number right down:

🌾 Agtech:

  • Tortuga AgTech raised $20M earlier this month to scale up production of its harvesting robots, which save on labour costs and reduce waste.
  • Gardin raised $1.2M in January for its optical phenotyping technology (yeah, we had to google that too) which allows farms to optimise food production, reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint.
  • RoboScienctific Ltd (£50k funding in 2016) has developed sensor technology to sniff out spoilage or disease in crops or livestock, alerting farmers before the infection becomes rife and reducing waste.

🔎 Supply chain tech:

  • Shelf Engine raised $41M in March for its intelligent forecasting and order automation technology designed to reduce grocery industry food waste.
  • Simbe Robotics raised $26M in 2019 and just announced the Tally 3.0, the latest iteration of its autonomous grocery robot which monitors store product levels and detects misplaced items, to minimise loss and waste as well as better informing stocking decisions.
  • Spoiler Alert ($5.1M funding to date) has developed a demand planning system to reduce supply chain overages and shortages, minimising waste and missed sales.
  • RipeLocker just raised $5M for its patented technology, which precisely manages the atmosphere (oxygen, pressure, CO2 and humidity) inside its containers to extend the freshness of perishables, reducing waste.

🥫 Shelf life extension:

  • Amcor unveiled the world’s first fully recyclable shrink bag for fresh and processed meat, poultry and cheese last year, designed to maximise shelf-life while maintaining food safety and reducing waste.
  • Hazel Technologies secured $70M last week for its packaging insert that preserves fresh produce by inhibiting ethylene, which plants produce as they age
  • Ynvisible ($50k grant in 2015) and Innoscentia (no public funding to date) are partnering to develop an intelligent expiry date label which monitors real-time quality of food to limit food spoilage. Similar in this space is Wasteless ($5.2M to date) with its AI-powered dynamic pricing and smart markdowns for retailers.

Apply Now: Rockstart is calling on leading AgriFood startups to fast-track their growth 📈

Rockstart is the global accelerator-VC empowering purpose-driven founders. With their  €18+ million Agrifood fund focused on agtech and foodtech startups they are dedicated to investing in top tier entrepreneurs.

Apply here if you’re an early-stage (pre-)seed AgriFood startup looking to go from early market validation to becoming a market-leading company.


At the other end of the supply chain, many companies are rescuing food which would otherwise have been wasted due to cosmetic imperfections, overproduction or a lack of secondary markets (i.e. perfectly edible), and repurposing it into something wonderful or redistributing it at a discount.

♻️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into food products:

  • Outcast Foods raised CAD10M in March to divert food waste from landfill and upcycle it into ‘nutrient dense’ food products such as protein powders and dietary supplements.
  • Grounded Foods raised $1.74M in July and just launched its great-tasting plant-based cheeses made from ‘ugly’ cauliflower which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Goodfish raised $4M in December to produce high protein snacks made from upcycled salmon skin which would otherwise go to waste.
  • NotCo and Imperfect Foods have joined forces to create NotMilk™, a dairy-free milk made with rescued produce which would otherwise have gone to waste.

☕️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into other stuff:

  • Re-Nuble raised $1.1M in November to upcycle organic compounds from unrecoverable food waste into nutrients for soilless farms.
  • Greencovery ($85k pre-seed in 2019) has developed systems to help food manufacturers recover valuable compounds from their side streams, instead of writing them off as waste. E.g. a banana flavour recovered from vinegar production.
  • Snack giant Walkers captures the CO2 from beer fermentation and mixes it with potato waste, then turns it into fertiliser and uses it for next year’s crop.
  • Kaffe Bueno raised $1.3M late last year to upcycle coffee waste into active and functional ingredients for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods.

🗑 Redistributing food before it’s wasted:

  • Imperfect Foods has raised $229.1M so far to rescue surplus and ‘ugly’ groceries and food service inventory to resell them on its own online platform.
  • UK retail giant Tesco has partnered with food sharing app and social enterprise Olio to stop edible surplus food from going to waste and help feed more people in crisis in the local community.
  • Yindii (no public funding to date) launched an app to help combat food waste in Bangkok, so restaurants and cafés can offer heavily discounted food boxes filled with food which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Too Good To Go raised €25.7M in January to expand its waste-fighting surplus food marketplace. Consumers can access food which would have otherwise been wasted by hotels and restaurants at heavily discounted prices through its app or website.

Check out our food waste solutions database for more companies.

Food Waste Solutions: Hazel Technologies, Outcast Foods, Winnow Solutions

🔮 Our predictions:

  • Consumers will demand transparency around food waste. Certain outlets now celebrate ‘ugly’ produce (e.g. UK supermarket Morrisons’ Wonky Veg), as consumers wise up to how much waste is made from retailers demanding uniformity of appearance.
  • More packaging callouts to encourage consumers to purchase upcycled foods. The Upcycled Food Association just introduced a new certification mark to give consumers clarity on the presence of upcycled food ingredients in a wide range of products. According to its research, more than 50% of consumers had increased intent to buy Upcycled Certified food when the mark was on packaging.
  • More, and better, tech to fight food waste before it happens, at both agricultural and supply chain level.
  • More focus on local production, urban farming, reduction of food transport and chill chain lifecycle.
  • A better system for food safety than arbitrary ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.
  • Frozen foods will grow even further in popularity. They’re convenient, have a long shelf life and (can be) high-quality and nutritious. Catch our deep dive into frozen as the new fresh on FoodHack+.
  • Even more tech for community-focused food redistribution, particularly through a potential post-pandemic economic crisis.
  • Movements such as ‘nose to tail’ and ‘root to stem’ will continue to grow in popularity. More chefs will set a great example, like Josh Niland at St Peter in Sydney, who is championing the fin to gill’ fish movement.
  • More meal kits which provide the exact ingredients needed, tackling overflowing cupboards of ingredients which have been purchased for one specific dish, never to be used again.

Agree with our predictions? Or have some of your own?

Food waste is a hot topic. According to the 2021 Food Waste Index published by the United Nations Environment Programme, 931 million tonnes of food sold in 2019 was wasted. That amounts to 17% of all food available at consumer level, enough to line up and circle the planet seven times over. Colour me horrified.

Plus, with the world’s population expected to reach ten billion by 2050, food waste is likely to increase if something doesn’t change, and fast.

🌎 Taking action

All over, governments are laying out initiatives to win the war against food waste:

foodwaste2
Source: Reuters

The industry is also getting involved, with scientists, startups and multinationals working on solutions to tackle food waste.

  • Google is taking on the challenge with tech innovations from its ‘moonshot factory’, X, including an ‘intelligent food distribution network’ and a system which uses computer vision and machine learning to collate data on restaurant food waste.
  • In Singapore, a group of scientists have developed an AI-powered ‘electronic nose’ which assesses the freshness of meat with 98.5% accuracy, and could hopefully help reduce food waste which happens when consumers follow ‘best before’ dates rather than relying on a sniff test.

But there’s no one solution that will fix our food waste problem. Instead, the winning formula might be a combination of:

  • Preventing food waste at the source. That means consumers, food service, retailers and producers all need to crack down and take responsibility.
  • Redistributing unsold or excess food.
  • Repurposing food waste, whether into new products or a source of energy.

We've gathered 70+ food waste startups and companies you should know about.

👀 Who - The food waste innovators

As we see it, companies tend to fall into six categories under two segments: limiting food waste production in the first place, and doing something with potential food waste so it doesn’t end up in landfill. We’ve picked a few examples across each category to highlight, but there are tonnes more.


The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste takes place in September, and was set up to raise awareness of the fact that, globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. These waste fighters are trying to bring this number right down:

🌾 Agtech:

  • Tortuga AgTech raised $20M earlier this month to scale up production of its harvesting robots, which save on labour costs and reduce waste.
  • Gardin raised $1.2M in January for its optical phenotyping technology (yeah, we had to google that too) which allows farms to optimise food production, reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint.
  • RoboScienctific Ltd (£50k funding in 2016) has developed sensor technology to sniff out spoilage or disease in crops or livestock, alerting farmers before the infection becomes rife and reducing waste.

🔎 Supply chain tech:

  • Shelf Engine raised $41M in March for its intelligent forecasting and order automation technology designed to reduce grocery industry food waste.
  • Simbe Robotics raised $26M in 2019 and just announced the Tally 3.0, the latest iteration of its autonomous grocery robot which monitors store product levels and detects misplaced items, to minimise loss and waste as well as better informing stocking decisions.
  • Spoiler Alert ($5.1M funding to date) has developed a demand planning system to reduce supply chain overages and shortages, minimising waste and missed sales.
  • RipeLocker just raised $5M for its patented technology, which precisely manages the atmosphere (oxygen, pressure, CO2 and humidity) inside its containers to extend the freshness of perishables, reducing waste.

🥫 Shelf life extension:

  • Amcor unveiled the world’s first fully recyclable shrink bag for fresh and processed meat, poultry and cheese last year, designed to maximise shelf-life while maintaining food safety and reducing waste.
  • Hazel Technologies secured $70M last week for its packaging insert that preserves fresh produce by inhibiting ethylene, which plants produce as they age
  • Ynvisible ($50k grant in 2015) and Innoscentia (no public funding to date) are partnering to develop an intelligent expiry date label which monitors real-time quality of food to limit food spoilage. Similar in this space is Wasteless ($5.2M to date) with its AI-powered dynamic pricing and smart markdowns for retailers.

Apply Now: Rockstart is calling on leading AgriFood startups to fast-track their growth 📈

Rockstart is the global accelerator-VC empowering purpose-driven founders. With their  €18+ million Agrifood fund focused on agtech and foodtech startups they are dedicated to investing in top tier entrepreneurs.

Apply here if you’re an early-stage (pre-)seed AgriFood startup looking to go from early market validation to becoming a market-leading company.


At the other end of the supply chain, many companies are rescuing food which would otherwise have been wasted due to cosmetic imperfections, overproduction or a lack of secondary markets (i.e. perfectly edible), and repurposing it into something wonderful or redistributing it at a discount.

♻️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into food products:

  • Outcast Foods raised CAD10M in March to divert food waste from landfill and upcycle it into ‘nutrient dense’ food products such as protein powders and dietary supplements.
  • Grounded Foods raised $1.74M in July and just launched its great-tasting plant-based cheeses made from ‘ugly’ cauliflower which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Goodfish raised $4M in December to produce high protein snacks made from upcycled salmon skin which would otherwise go to waste.
  • NotCo and Imperfect Foods have joined forces to create NotMilk™, a dairy-free milk made with rescued produce which would otherwise have gone to waste.

☕️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into other stuff:

  • Re-Nuble raised $1.1M in November to upcycle organic compounds from unrecoverable food waste into nutrients for soilless farms.
  • Greencovery ($85k pre-seed in 2019) has developed systems to help food manufacturers recover valuable compounds from their side streams, instead of writing them off as waste. E.g. a banana flavour recovered from vinegar production.
  • Snack giant Walkers captures the CO2 from beer fermentation and mixes it with potato waste, then turns it into fertiliser and uses it for next year’s crop.
  • Kaffe Bueno raised $1.3M late last year to upcycle coffee waste into active and functional ingredients for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods.

🗑 Redistributing food before it’s wasted:

  • Imperfect Foods has raised $229.1M so far to rescue surplus and ‘ugly’ groceries and food service inventory to resell them on its own online platform.
  • UK retail giant Tesco has partnered with food sharing app and social enterprise Olio to stop edible surplus food from going to waste and help feed more people in crisis in the local community.
  • Yindii (no public funding to date) launched an app to help combat food waste in Bangkok, so restaurants and cafés can offer heavily discounted food boxes filled with food which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Too Good To Go raised €25.7M in January to expand its waste-fighting surplus food marketplace. Consumers can access food which would have otherwise been wasted by hotels and restaurants at heavily discounted prices through its app or website.

Check out our food waste solutions database for more companies.

Food Waste Solutions: Hazel Technologies, Outcast Foods, Winnow Solutions

🔮 Our predictions:

  • Consumers will demand transparency around food waste. Certain outlets now celebrate ‘ugly’ produce (e.g. UK supermarket Morrisons’ Wonky Veg), as consumers wise up to how much waste is made from retailers demanding uniformity of appearance.
  • More packaging callouts to encourage consumers to purchase upcycled foods. The Upcycled Food Association just introduced a new certification mark to give consumers clarity on the presence of upcycled food ingredients in a wide range of products. According to its research, more than 50% of consumers had increased intent to buy Upcycled Certified food when the mark was on packaging.
  • More, and better, tech to fight food waste before it happens, at both agricultural and supply chain level.
  • More focus on local production, urban farming, reduction of food transport and chill chain lifecycle.
  • A better system for food safety than arbitrary ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.
  • Frozen foods will grow even further in popularity. They’re convenient, have a long shelf life and (can be) high-quality and nutritious. Catch our deep dive into frozen as the new fresh on FoodHack+.
  • Even more tech for community-focused food redistribution, particularly through a potential post-pandemic economic crisis.
  • Movements such as ‘nose to tail’ and ‘root to stem’ will continue to grow in popularity. More chefs will set a great example, like Josh Niland at St Peter in Sydney, who is championing the fin to gill’ fish movement.
  • More meal kits which provide the exact ingredients needed, tackling overflowing cupboards of ingredients which have been purchased for one specific dish, never to be used again.

Agree with our predictions? Or have some of your own?

Food waste is a hot topic. According to the 2021 Food Waste Index published by the United Nations Environment Programme, 931 million tonnes of food sold in 2019 was wasted. That amounts to 17% of all food available at consumer level, enough to line up and circle the planet seven times over. Colour me horrified.

Plus, with the world’s population expected to reach ten billion by 2050, food waste is likely to increase if something doesn’t change, and fast.

🌎 Taking action

All over, governments are laying out initiatives to win the war against food waste:

foodwaste2
Source: Reuters

The industry is also getting involved, with scientists, startups and multinationals working on solutions to tackle food waste.

  • Google is taking on the challenge with tech innovations from its ‘moonshot factory’, X, including an ‘intelligent food distribution network’ and a system which uses computer vision and machine learning to collate data on restaurant food waste.
  • In Singapore, a group of scientists have developed an AI-powered ‘electronic nose’ which assesses the freshness of meat with 98.5% accuracy, and could hopefully help reduce food waste which happens when consumers follow ‘best before’ dates rather than relying on a sniff test.

But there’s no one solution that will fix our food waste problem. Instead, the winning formula might be a combination of:

  • Preventing food waste at the source. That means consumers, food service, retailers and producers all need to crack down and take responsibility.
  • Redistributing unsold or excess food.
  • Repurposing food waste, whether into new products or a source of energy.

We've gathered 70+ food waste startups and companies you should know about.

👀 Who - The food waste innovators

As we see it, companies tend to fall into six categories under two segments: limiting food waste production in the first place, and doing something with potential food waste so it doesn’t end up in landfill. We’ve picked a few examples across each category to highlight, but there are tonnes more.


The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste takes place in September, and was set up to raise awareness of the fact that, globally, around 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. These waste fighters are trying to bring this number right down:

🌾 Agtech:

  • Tortuga AgTech raised $20M earlier this month to scale up production of its harvesting robots, which save on labour costs and reduce waste.
  • Gardin raised $1.2M in January for its optical phenotyping technology (yeah, we had to google that too) which allows farms to optimise food production, reduce waste and lower their carbon footprint.
  • RoboScienctific Ltd (£50k funding in 2016) has developed sensor technology to sniff out spoilage or disease in crops or livestock, alerting farmers before the infection becomes rife and reducing waste.

🔎 Supply chain tech:

  • Shelf Engine raised $41M in March for its intelligent forecasting and order automation technology designed to reduce grocery industry food waste.
  • Simbe Robotics raised $26M in 2019 and just announced the Tally 3.0, the latest iteration of its autonomous grocery robot which monitors store product levels and detects misplaced items, to minimise loss and waste as well as better informing stocking decisions.
  • Spoiler Alert ($5.1M funding to date) has developed a demand planning system to reduce supply chain overages and shortages, minimising waste and missed sales.
  • RipeLocker just raised $5M for its patented technology, which precisely manages the atmosphere (oxygen, pressure, CO2 and humidity) inside its containers to extend the freshness of perishables, reducing waste.

🥫 Shelf life extension:

  • Amcor unveiled the world’s first fully recyclable shrink bag for fresh and processed meat, poultry and cheese last year, designed to maximise shelf-life while maintaining food safety and reducing waste.
  • Hazel Technologies secured $70M last week for its packaging insert that preserves fresh produce by inhibiting ethylene, which plants produce as they age
  • Ynvisible ($50k grant in 2015) and Innoscentia (no public funding to date) are partnering to develop an intelligent expiry date label which monitors real-time quality of food to limit food spoilage. Similar in this space is Wasteless ($5.2M to date) with its AI-powered dynamic pricing and smart markdowns for retailers.

Apply Now: Rockstart is calling on leading AgriFood startups to fast-track their growth 📈

Rockstart is the global accelerator-VC empowering purpose-driven founders. With their  €18+ million Agrifood fund focused on agtech and foodtech startups they are dedicated to investing in top tier entrepreneurs.

Apply here if you’re an early-stage (pre-)seed AgriFood startup looking to go from early market validation to becoming a market-leading company.


At the other end of the supply chain, many companies are rescuing food which would otherwise have been wasted due to cosmetic imperfections, overproduction or a lack of secondary markets (i.e. perfectly edible), and repurposing it into something wonderful or redistributing it at a discount.

♻️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into food products:

  • Outcast Foods raised CAD10M in March to divert food waste from landfill and upcycle it into ‘nutrient dense’ food products such as protein powders and dietary supplements.
  • Grounded Foods raised $1.74M in July and just launched its great-tasting plant-based cheeses made from ‘ugly’ cauliflower which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Goodfish raised $4M in December to produce high protein snacks made from upcycled salmon skin which would otherwise go to waste.
  • NotCo and Imperfect Foods have joined forces to create NotMilk™, a dairy-free milk made with rescued produce which would otherwise have gone to waste.

☕️ Rescuing/repurposing waste into other stuff:

  • Re-Nuble raised $1.1M in November to upcycle organic compounds from unrecoverable food waste into nutrients for soilless farms.
  • Greencovery ($85k pre-seed in 2019) has developed systems to help food manufacturers recover valuable compounds from their side streams, instead of writing them off as waste. E.g. a banana flavour recovered from vinegar production.
  • Snack giant Walkers captures the CO2 from beer fermentation and mixes it with potato waste, then turns it into fertiliser and uses it for next year’s crop.
  • Kaffe Bueno raised $1.3M late last year to upcycle coffee waste into active and functional ingredients for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods.

🗑 Redistributing food before it’s wasted:

  • Imperfect Foods has raised $229.1M so far to rescue surplus and ‘ugly’ groceries and food service inventory to resell them on its own online platform.
  • UK retail giant Tesco has partnered with food sharing app and social enterprise Olio to stop edible surplus food from going to waste and help feed more people in crisis in the local community.
  • Yindii (no public funding to date) launched an app to help combat food waste in Bangkok, so restaurants and cafés can offer heavily discounted food boxes filled with food which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  • Too Good To Go raised €25.7M in January to expand its waste-fighting surplus food marketplace. Consumers can access food which would have otherwise been wasted by hotels and restaurants at heavily discounted prices through its app or website.

Check out our food waste solutions database for more companies.

Food Waste Solutions: Hazel Technologies, Outcast Foods, Winnow Solutions

🔮 Our predictions:

  • Consumers will demand transparency around food waste. Certain outlets now celebrate ‘ugly’ produce (e.g. UK supermarket Morrisons’ Wonky Veg), as consumers wise up to how much waste is made from retailers demanding uniformity of appearance.
  • More packaging callouts to encourage consumers to purchase upcycled foods. The Upcycled Food Association just introduced a new certification mark to give consumers clarity on the presence of upcycled food ingredients in a wide range of products. According to its research, more than 50% of consumers had increased intent to buy Upcycled Certified food when the mark was on packaging.
  • More, and better, tech to fight food waste before it happens, at both agricultural and supply chain level.
  • More focus on local production, urban farming, reduction of food transport and chill chain lifecycle.
  • A better system for food safety than arbitrary ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.
  • Frozen foods will grow even further in popularity. They’re convenient, have a long shelf life and (can be) high-quality and nutritious. Catch our deep dive into frozen as the new fresh on FoodHack+.
  • Even more tech for community-focused food redistribution, particularly through a potential post-pandemic economic crisis.
  • Movements such as ‘nose to tail’ and ‘root to stem’ will continue to grow in popularity. More chefs will set a great example, like Josh Niland at St Peter in Sydney, who is championing the fin to gill’ fish movement.
  • More meal kits which provide the exact ingredients needed, tackling overflowing cupboards of ingredients which have been purchased for one specific dish, never to be used again.

Agree with our predictions? Or have some of your own?

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