How the Winnow Scale is Waging War on Commercial Food Waste
In the food industry, we are experiencing “The Era of Sustainability”. In the boardrooms of major food companies phrases like “carbon footprint”, “food waste management” and “upcycle” can be heard on the lips of decision makers, because consumers are willing it so.
As Milennials take the helm as the newest generation with the most buying power, their ideals and concerns about the state of the environment have become paramount. In the United States, over 40 million tons of food waste is created by commercial kitchens each year and frankly, Milennials aren’t having it. As a result, for the first time, a product’s sustainability determines whether or not a consumer will purchase it. And when sustainability becomes the phrase that impacts a company’s bottom line, they start listening. The movement has begun to gain such momentum restaurants have begun to rethink the way they look at food waste, another deterrent to net revenue.
Enter Winnow Vision
As a result of the sustainable movement, AI technology like Winnow Solutions, has created a set of smart scales that calculate the food cost of food waste in commercial kitchens. Their product, Winnow Vision, uses artificial intelligence to weigh discarded food and assign a food cost to the waste in real-time. This food waste management system allows chefs and kitchen staff the ability to see the food waste in monetary form, thus providing the push needed to adjust the amount of food used to create recipes with the intention of reducing the amount of unconsumed food items and avoid overproduction.
Winnow solutions have successfully created this vision system with the ability to go beyond human levels of accuracy. This gives the company using the smart scales the advantage of superior reporting to evaluate true numbers concerning P&L.
Something Old, Something New
When Winnow Solutions visited the FoodScape Conference held by DataEssentials in the fall of 2019, their team explained how in working with companies like IKEA, the benefit of the smart scales went beyond assessing food waste by cost and into creating new product. They explained that foods that have passed their peak for a plated meal could be turned into different foods that are shelf stable and could be either resold or used in place of another branded product purchase. The specific example being berries. Instead of tossing past-peak berries, they could be repurposed into a jam or jelly that could be stored for a long period of time and used in place of a major-brand supplier. This allows the restaurant to save money and create a new product by using food that would have been tossed. Free Jelly? Now that’s a sweet deal.
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