What if food labels displayed lower prices as the expiry date approaches?

Dynamic pricing powered by AI could help reduce food waste. — AFP Relaxnews

Various approaches for combating food waste have been tested around the world. The latest innovation hails from a startup that adjusts food prices according to expiry date. As inflation bites, this could be a win-win situation for consumers, who could manage their budget while limiting the environmental impact of their food consumption.

From stickers that change colour according to the ripeness of fruit and vegetables, an Instagram filter suggesting recipes to help use up food, baskets of unsold produce from the TooGoodToGo app, to the outright removal of best-before dates, a whole host of innovations have already been launched in an attempt to limit food waste.

Indeed, driving down waste has become a major focus for the EU, which is seeking to require member states to reduce food waste by 30% by 2030. Today, it is estimated that one European generates 131kg of food waste per year.

But, as the cost of living crisis bites, many consumers are now keen to hunt out foods discounted by retailers as they reach their expiry dates. And this innovation from a Tel Aviv startup could help shoppers find the best deals while also combatting waste.

It is based on the idea of dynamic pricing, so that prices are lowered according to the expiration date. In other words, the closer a pack of butter comes to its expiry date, the cheaper it becomes.

It’s then up to the consumer to make a conscious choice, preferring to spend less and/or choose a given product to help reduce waste.

The concept was launched by the Wasteless startup, which has chosen to use artificial intelligence to adjust the prices of products that are not being snapped up quickly enough by consumers. In other words, if there are too many items left on the shelf, the technology is able to spot this and adjust the price downwards.

The company estimates that this technology can reduce food waste by at least 40%. The company has already tested its system in several European supermarkets and has secured collaborations with food giants such as Metro, Carrefour and Jumbo. – AFP Relaxnews

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