Food waste is a growing, worldwide problem. The necessity to throw out food that has expired or gone bad is not only bad for the bottom line but also deprives the poor of much-needed sustenance. Kroger, the supermarket chain, is bringing modern artificial intelligence tools to reduce food waste,
According to the CBS News affiliate in Cincinnati, Kroger has created a tool called Chefbot that allows homeowners to pair food in their fridges to a library of recipes. All anyone has to do is to take a picture of three ingredients that are being stored and the tool does the rest.
While Chefbot is meant to cut down on food waste at home, one suspects that the tool or something similar can be easily adapted for a food service business. The business can devise a special menu item that will not only attract more customers but will also reduce food waste and thus serve the bottom line.
Forbes has a story of another AI tool that is being used by a British online grocery seller called Ocado to control inventory. The tool does many things, but crucially, it identifies food inventory items that are due to expire and flags them to be donated to food banks and other charities. A business using such a tool will be able to do well by doing good, offering inventory for charity, and then taking the tax write-off. Ocado has been able to reduce its food waste to just one in every 6000 items as a result of using the artificial intelligence system, a remarkable achievement.
Incidentally, the same AI tool could keep track of items that tend to be overbought, thus contributing to food waste. The manager in charge of purchasing inventory can then adjust accordingly.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to turn food waste into extra food usage.