Electrolux has partnered with Swedish start-up Karma to introduce a smart refrigerator that helps retailers reduce food waste.
The companies said the fridge, which has been unveiled at the ICA Kvantum Liljeholmen store in Stockholm, creates storage and a pickup point for unsold food that otherwise would likely be thrown away.
The launch follows on from Karma’s Series A funding round announced in August in which it secured USD 12 million, including an investment from Electrolux.
To use the smart fridge, a Karma user who makes a purchase at the supermarket through an app can collect the product from the refrigerator. The user then unlocks the fridge using a QR code and shows the product at the checkout.
Tove Chevalley, head of digital innovation at Electrolux, said: “Finding innovative solutions that promote better living and a more sustainable way of consuming food is part of our company purpose.
“For Electrolux, the partnership with a startup like Karma is a new and powerful way of driving positive change. By combining ours and Karma’s unique qualifications, we have been able to create an innovative solution that makes it easier for consumers and food suppliers to save food from ending up in landfill.”
Karma CEO and co-founder Hjalmar Ståhlberg Nordegren said: “The partnership with Electrolux has allowed our initial idea of reducing food waste to gather speed and our company to grow, while also adding the knowledge and experience of an established business, which we as a startup are still in the process of acquiring. The fridge is the first step in our common effort to rescue more food from landfill and to protect the environment.”
To date, the app has 400,000 users and works with more than 1,500 connected businesses across Sweden and London, UK. Since its creation in November 2016, Karma claims to have stopped over 580,000 food items from being thrown away. — FoodBev Media