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NRAs 2016 - Food Waste Initiative (Private Sector)

Winner: Winnow

Winnow produces smart meters that connect commercial kitchens to cloudbased software allowing them to record and analyse exactly what is put in the bin. This gives chefs the information necessary to drive improvements in their production processes to cut food waste in half, saving money and reducing their environmental footprint at the same time.

Since launching in May 2013, Winnow has been deployed in more than 200 kitchens. On average the system reduces food waste by a quarter after being deployed for just one month. During the course of a year, food waste is expected to be cut by at least half. To date Winnow has saved customers more than £2m in reduced food purchasing costs. This is the equivalent to 680,000 meals and 3,400 tonnes of CO2 saved.

Winnow uses ‘Internet of Things’ technology to capture data. An accompanying tablet app lets kitchen staff log what food is thrown away and it is then analysed by the software’s algorithm. This saves time compared with recording waste manually which is prone to inaccuracies. Customers have all the data at their fingertips via tailored reports sent to their inbox daily.

Extremely innovative and with big impact. It has a growing acceptance by large hotel and catering chains. There is the potential to create change across an entire industry

Judges’ view

The first week of an installation provides a baseline, when staff continue throwing food out as normal, making sure to categorise it. This gives a reference point of ‘normal wastage’ against which performance can be judged. The baseline can then work out projected annualised savings, calculate targets and start working with the head chef to address how to reduce the kitchen’s wastage.

Celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall is one happy customer. He says: “Winnow’s smart meter has helped us to measure where food is wasted in our restaurant, and quickly points to areas we can make changes. It is clear that many others in our sector could benefit from using Winnow to reduce their waste and costs. It’s a real no-brainer for the hospitality industry.”

Extremely innovative and with big impact. It has a Growing acceptance by large hotel and catering chains. There is the Potential to create change across an entire industry


  • Booker Group
  • Café Spice Namasté
  • Company Shop
  • Grundon Waste Management
  • JLL
  • MB UN
  • Roadchef
  • SWR

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