Daily Planet

Fridge camera claims to halve household food waste

The world’s first wireless fridge camera goes on sale in the UK next month. Created to reduce consumer food waste, the Smarter FridgeCam enables users to verify what they have in their refrigerator — anywhere, anytime — via an app on their phone.

EU citizens waste an average of 47 million tonnes of edible food annually, while in the UK, the average family wastes £700 worth of food each year.

According to the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP), bagged salads are among the most thrown away foods, with Britons wasting 40 per cent of the salads they purchase every year—the equivalent of 37,000 tonnes, or 178 million bags.

Consumer behaviour — from buying too much food to confusion over expiry dates — is at the root of this food waste. Many of these habits could be improved with technology.

A connected kitchen

With the ability to take a food inventory as well as track expiry dates, Smarter FridgeCam helps address such issues. Other features include suggesting recipes to use up food that is already there, scheduling and ordering groceries (with a supermarket integration), and monitoring fridge temperature. Smarter claims its FridgeCam can help households reduce their food waste by up to half.

A representative from Smarter said, “We created FridgeCam so you can always see what’s inside your fridge. By positioning it on the fridge door, every time it closes, FridgeCam takes a snapshot of the contents of your fridge and sends it directly to your smartphone wherever you are.”

The camera has a universal mount and fits inside any fridge model. The data it gathers when monitoring food is logged in Smarter’s shared consumer database, which the company says helps it to improve its technology.

Smarter FridgeCam joins a growing number of products and services tackling food waste. Among them is SirPlus, a member of Climate-KIC’s startup accelerator, which receives surplus food from retailers, logistics players, and producers and sells it at discount prices via its food outlet store, same-day delivery system, and online shop.