Feeling Trashy: These 10 Startups Aim to Reduce Food Waste

Israeli households throw out 880 million kilograms of wasted food annually, which equates to a month and a half of food consumption per household

Adi Pick 12:1016.10.19
Wednesday, October 16, is World Food Day, established by the United Nations in 1979 to promote awareness to issues relating to poverty and hunger. This makes it the perfect today to talk about one of Israel’s most pressing social, economical, and ecological issues: food waste.


According to Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, between 20% and 52% of fresh produce in Israel is wasted. The rate of depreciation of produce in shops is 40% at the consumer’s home, the ministry said.
Food (illustration). Photo: Michelle Min Food (illustration). Photo: Michelle Min
According to Israeli food bank Leket, Israeli households throw out 880 million kilograms of wasted food annually, which equates to a month and a half of food consumption per household.


Below are 10 Israel-based startups developing new ways to tackle the issue.



Year founded: 2016

Funding to date: $2.55 million


Tel Aviv and Amsterdam-based Wasteless Ltd. lets retailers automatically offer differentiated pricing for food products according to their expiration dates. The company’s pricing algorithm tracks inventory and sales and updates prices in real-time using electronic shelf labels.



Year founded: 2018

Funding to date: Bootstrapped


Tel Aviv-based company LJE Spirit Ltd. operates SpareEat, an app launched in August for iOS and Android. SpareEat lets consumers buy fresh leftover dishes or produce from restaurants, hotels, cafes, and supermarkets. While customers enjoy a discount of up to 50% on the full price of the items, businesses make extra cash on food they could not otherwise sell. SpareEat collects a portion of each transaction as well as a flat monthly fee from businesses.



Timeless Foods

Year founded: 2012

Funding to date: $150,000


Based in the Tel Aviv suburb of Ramat Gan, Timeless Foods Technologies Ltd. develops a disposable plastic container that allows food manufacturers to vacuum seal delicate foods and produce, thus significantly prolonging their shelf life without requiring freezing or even refrigeration. The company’s first packaging was developed for pizza and can keep it fresh for up to eight weeks, according to founder Michel Habib.




Year founded: 2016

Funding to date: Approximately $355,000


Last year, foodtech company Silo Kitchen Inc. launched its food container system on Kickstarter, reaching its target of $80,000 in less than 24 hours. The one-touch vacuum-sealing system is designed to keep food fresh longer and reduce food waste. The vacuum machine and box ensemble can be used to store a range of perishable and non-perishable food items, from fresh produce to coffee beans. It integrates with Amazon's voice-activated assistant, Alexa, and identifies the product placed inside Silo’s boxes, tells users when it is time to throw food away, and even updates a user’s shopping list when items near expiry. The company is based in New York and Tel Aviv.




Year founded: 2014

Funding to date: $10 million

Genie CEO Doron Marco. Photo: Orel Cohen Genie CEO Doron Marco. Photo: Orel Cohen
Israeli pod-to-meal startup Genie Enterprise Ltd. aims to help curb food waste by developing a machine capable of preparing food on the spot in exact measured quantities. The company offers meal pods that can be prepared in smart ovens that automatically cook meals using a sequence of actions such as heating, cooling, microwaving, and steaming. The company is based just outside of the central Israeli town of Herzliya.




Year founded: 2014

Funding to date: $1.5 million


Based in central Israeli town Herzliya, Milkit Ltd. offers cafes and restaurants an electric milk-dispensing system that delivers accurately measured doses of milk at the push of a button. The system connects to a patented 10-liter to 15-liter milk bag, saving on single-use milk containers and helping to reduce waste through a programmable, accurate pouring mechanism. The company lists the Carleton hotel in Tel Aviv and chocolate chain Max Brenner International Inc. as customers.



Save Foods

Year founded: 2004

Funding to date: $550,000


Tel Aviv-based Save Foods Inc. develops sanitizing products using hydrogen peroxide together with food-grade acids to help extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables, thereby reducing food waste. The company’s sanitizing products also sanitize against pathogens—including E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria—that cause foodborne illnesses, according to company statements.




Year founded: 2017

Funding to date: $1.1 million


Based in the central Israeli town of Rishon LeZion, ClariFruit Ltd. uses computer vision and machine learning technology to quickly evaluate the quality, ripeness, and freshness of fruits and vegetables, thus preventing massive waste. ClariFruit develops a produce monitoring mobile app that scans fruits and vegetables and analyzes their condition to determine whether or not they are ready to go to market. According to the company’s website, the ClariFruit app can analyze data on such elements as the color, size, firmness, and sugar content of a fruit or vegetable.




Year founded: 2018


Jerusalem-based Sufresca Ltd. develops edible coatings for fruits and vegetables that facilitate longer shelf life to reduce waste. The company's coatings are tailored for each produce item using specific liquid formulations and reduce spoilage during storage.




Year founded: 2012

Funding to date: $30 million


Tel Aviv-based UBQ Materials Ltd. develops a process of converting food waste, as well as soiled cardboard, paper, and mixed plastics, into reusable bio-based plastic-like material, a substitute for conventional oil-based plastics. UBQ takes the unsorted food waste and dries it, then shreds it, turning it into a homogenous, almost molecular substance that can serve as feedstock for new products.

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