As per research by Sainsbury, the second-largest chain of supermarkets in the UK, a quarter of households waste £235 worth of food every year due to buying products they already have in their refrigerator.
The figures of food waste in developed nations would put anyone to shame. As per research by Sainsbury, the second-largest chain of supermarkets in the UK, a quarter of households waste £235 worth of food every year due to buying products they already have in their refrigerator. Annually, this amounts to a staggering waste bill of £1.5 billion for households in the UK. Fruit and vegetables are the most overbought items with 38% and 35% of shoppers regularly stocking up on more than what they actually need. Milk, cheese and eggs complete the top five products that are most frequently overbought. The war on food shortage is an ever-consuming one. Often vegetables stashed inside the refrigerator start rotting or a food item nears its use-by date. So to tackle this problem, a technology firm has come up with a new wireless fridge camera that will track the contents kept inside the fridge. To be sold in the UK from next month, the Smarter FridgeCam aims at helping households slash food waste by checking exactly what they have in their refrigerator at any time.
In a bid to avoid overbuying, 70% of Britons have tried to adopt the habit of checking the fridge before a food shop. However, despite their best intentions, over 40% admit that they end up forgetting what they need by the time they get to the shop. Bagged salads are among the most wasted foods, with Britons chucking out 40% of the salads they buy every year—equivalent to 37,000 tonnes, or 178 million bags. Shoppers increasingly buy top-up products on their way home from work without checking their fridge first, which often leads to duplication.
The FridgeCam is a wireless camera that fits inside any fridge, allowing you to see the contents from anywhere via Smarter app. In addition, FridgeCam will also help track expiry dates, auto-replenish and suggest recipes based on the food in your fridge. The camera and app combo is smart enough to know when you finish a certain product, and it will add that item to your shopping list automatically. The Smarter FridgeCam and app will help shoppers keep a tab on their grocery list and perishable products. It will alert you to pick up needed items when you’re out and near a grocery store. So you don’t have to buy the expensive Wi-Fi enabled smart refrigerator, but rather fit your regular refrigerator with a camera and enjoy similar benefits.
The average fridge is opened and closed 20 times a day, though that can be for a variety of reasons. Never does one bother to look into all the food items stored inside. The app will also send out automatic top-up reminders to buy more milk. It will encourage people to eat what they already have, most often veggies festering at the back of the fridge or in the salad box. And if that wasn’t enough, the app will also be suggesting recipes using the ingredients that you have in store.
The device joins tech initiatives such as mobile apps and scales that calculate the cost of food waste, which aim to transform the way people think about what they consume. The FridgeCam, priced at £99, provides a cheaper alternative to smart fridge brands like Samsung and Bosch. Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, for example, costs £4,499. Since FridgeCam only takes photos and lies in sleep mode most of the time, Smarter estimates it will last six months on a single charge. When it needs more power, you can simply take the camera out of the fridge and charge it via a USB Type C port. The device is produced by Smarter, founded in 2014 by young entrepreneur of the year Christian Lane.