LogTrade helps restaurants make money on food waste

By on December 27, 2018

For restaurants who want to cook food on stores’ food waste, it can be more expensive to pick up that food than to buy “new”. This depends, among other things, on transport and logistics. To do something about this, Vinnova has granted Chalmers Industrial Technology grants to – together with Paul Svensson Mat AB, LogTrade, WhyWaste, Coop, Stockholm City Mission, Martin & Servera and Menigo – develop a sustainable solution to the dilemma.

When chef Paul Svensson, known from among other things SVT’s Maträddarna, started his pop-up restaurant ReTaste, he soon realized that the logistics were in the way of making the concept sustainable in the long term. That’s why he and Kristina Liljestrand decided to do something about it.

Kristina Liljestrand is a technology doctor in logistics and helps companies with logistics design, and with business models to create circular models. She explains that ReTaste offered a menu where everything is cooked on excess food from grocery stores, ie food you cannot sell but which can still be eaten. In this way, ReTaste showed what one can do with food that we often do not think can be eaten.

– But we have to find new logistics designs. Solutions that both provide better matching of supply and demand and efficient transport. The few examples that exist today show that restaurants or aid organizations often get from shop to shop in a van. If you are lucky you get something, otherwise you leave from there empty, says Kristina Liljestrand and explains that it can ultimately make it more expensive to pick upp “free food” than to get “new” raw materials delivered.

– Today we know that there are lots of empty transports on our roads, not least in the urban environment. At the same time, the stores are looking for smart ways to reduce their food waste.

MORE EXPENSIVE WITH FREE FOOD

Kristina Liljestrand explains that the challenge is, among other things, to get a system that allows food-saving restaurants to utilize food waste data from stores and transport data in an optimal way. At the same time, the starting shot for the project has just gone, and they don’t know what solution they will land in.

– We are a very strong team where, for example, the expertise and innovation in areas such as food waste, logistics and food distribution is very good.

Fredrik Svedberg, CEO of LogTrade, agrees with Kristina Liljestrand.

– Digital logistics is currently in a very interesting time where we can enable solutions for circular economy that were previously not technically possible. Not least thanks to, for example, Ericsson’s new global standard for logistics, which also opens up for cost-effective models.

PROFITABLE & SUSTAINABLE
Logistics is an important piece of the puzzle to be able to scale up concepts like ReTaste. In the research project one will therefore develop a layout for a business model that restaurants who want to save excess food can use. With such a place, restaurants on a much larger scale can save excess food from stores.

The research project runs until August 2019 and has been made financially possible by the Innovation Authority Vinnova, which sees the project as one of many important puzzle pieces in the step towards a more circular economy.

– The project is one of many applications that we decided to finance and it has been chosen in great competition, says Ida Langborg, who is the program manager for circular and bio-based economy at Vinnova.

Helena Olofsson, Food & Beverage 
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