Kroger's Effort to Reduce Waste Through Funding Innovation
The Kroger Co.’s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation’s Innovation Fund named its first-ever contingent of innovators who will collectively share $1 million in funding to accelerate programs and solutions that help end food waste.
Kroger’s inaugural innovators were selected from nearly 400 applicants, who submitted interest earlier this year during the first-ever open call to submit ideas and solutions to prevent food waste for an opportunity to receive a grant, ranging from $25,000 to $250,000 per project.
Awarding 'Philanthropic Disrupters'
“Kroger’s bold social impact plan Zero Hunger Zero Waste sets out to end hunger in our communities and eliminate waste across the company by 2025,” said Jessica Adelman, president of The Kroger Co.'s Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation. “We know we can’t accomplish this ambitious goal alone, so we supported the development of The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation—a public charity established to work with social enterprises, corporations and nonprofits that are committed to creating communities free of hunger and waste.”
Adelman said the foundation’s Innovation Fund was designed “to bring like-minded organizations together as philanthropic disrupters—setting a new course on how to partner and change the world.”
Food Forest, Cincinnati
Food Forest uses technology to source products through multiple channels, maximizing fulfillment efficiencies and minimizing the carbon footprint of delivery logistics. The Food Forest app uses dynamic pricing and recommendations to offer incentives to customers and mitigate wasteful behavior. It also provides pop-up grocery pickup points to low-access, high-need neighborhoods.
Imperfect, San Francisco
Imperfect is a national online grocer creating a more sustainable and effective food system to better communities and the environment. The company sources imperfect produce and surplus food such as grains, nuts, oil, bread, milk and cheese directly from farmers, growers and food purveyors and delivers these goods directly to customers' doors through a customizable subscription service.
Mobius, Knoxville, Tenn.
Mobius converts industrial organic waste streams from food, forestry and agriculture into renewable chemicals and materials as part of its mission to create a world where there’s wonder in waste. Its first products are biodegradable plastics and polymers created from industrial organic waste, with applications focused in agriculture, horticulture and foodservice packaging.
Replate, Berkley, Calif.
Replate creates technology to reliably redistribute surplus food from businesses and events directly to nonprofits in need. Leveraging the gig economy, it creates meaningful jobs while providing a simple platform for businesses and caterers to reduce their waste while supporting members of their community.
Ripe Revival, Greenville, N.C.
Ripe Revival is an innovative food brand on a mission to reduce waste and feed those in need. Its nutrient-dense protein gummies are crafted using proprietary extraction technology, providing a profitable solution for farmers’ excess produce. Its products are packed with purpose, maximizing the potential of fruits and vegetables through nutritious, clean and fun foods.
Seal the Seasons, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Seal the Seasons' mission is to increase access to local food by reducing on-farm food waste and providing family farms with a reliable income stream by selling locally and regionally grown frozen fruits and vegetables year-round. It partners with local family farms on a state-by-state basis to source local produce while in season, freeze it within 24 hours of picking, and sell it to local grocers in the grower’s home region.
Winnow, Iowa City, Iowa
Winnow builds artificial intelligence tools to help chefs measure food waste and provide stakeholders with transparent, measurable and actionable data, helping run more profitable and sustainable kitchens. The data communicates food waste reduction opportunities and details where food is being lost as a result of customer food preferences, preparation, storage or overproduction issues.