We caught up with Naomi MacKenzie, co-founder of KITRO, to find out why her business should be part of all aspects of the hospitality industry.
Kitro is addressing the issue of food waste in the hospitality industry by applying a high-tech solution to simplify the quantification, analysis, and reduction of wasted food.
Founded in 2017, the idea behind Kitro originated during our educational studies at the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL School of Hospitality). Having been tasked during work experience with throwing away enormous quantities of perfectly edible food, we felt compelled to find a solution to tackle the growing issue of food waste.
The issue is out of hand, with one third of all food produced for human consumption being lost or wasted every year, resulting in enormous economic, social, and environmental costs.
The food industry is responsible for 26% of the global greenhouse gas emissions – 6% of this is a result of food that is never eaten and ends up as waste – so it’s critical that we start collecting data and develop solutions to tackle the issue.
We’ve seen a massive shift in awareness since the emergence of Covid-19. People are starting to prioritize sustainable long-term development, especially in the hospitality industry, which crumbled during the pandemic and now needs to rebuild itself.
We’re initially targeting canteens, hotel groups, and restaurant chains, as they all face high costs and struggle to stay competitive in the market. Properties that serve at least 100 meals per day achieve a positive ROI when using Kitro.
With artificial intelligence at its core, Kitro offers an automated food waste data collection and analysis solution that can be adopted by food and beverage outlets everywhere.
Contrary to existing solutions on the market, our customers benefit from a fully automated ‘plug and play’ solution, which is easy to implement and yields higher savings.
To date, we’ve done more than 200 measurements and have helped establishments save as much as 60% of their avoidable food waste. They’ve also experienced an 8% increase in profit margin related to food.
When the company was launched in 2017 we had little money, few resources, and no knowledge about tech. Since then, we’ve built prototypes, tested them with the customers, and built a full-fledged product together with our users.
We’re now a team of 14, have raised more than €5 million, and have made a significant impact on food waste in the gastronomy industry while obtaining the funding we need to continue to do so.
Kitro’s contribution in mitigating food waste and altering the process in which the problem is tackled in commercial kitchens is what inspired the financial support. The proceeds will enable us to increase the product offering and expand the team further to address growing demand.
Through data analysis, we aim to push forward actions and initiatives on food waste reduction. In alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Kitro’s long-term strategy is to use the collected data to create standards, easing the process for governments and industries to transition to a circular economy.
We also see opportunities to use our technology in industries beyond food waste management to further increase the EU’s climate mitigation ambitions.
Kitro tackles a global challenge by harnessing the power of technology and using it for sustainable change. With artificial intelligence as the foundation and customer usability at the forefront, we use the power of data to transform industries and alter behavior to be more resource-efficient.
Our goal is to bring back the value of all food so it’s appreciated and not wasted. The recent response in the market to take action is driving Kitro’s growth.
We’re excited to maximize the impact we can have when it comes to food waste reduction and to achieve the SDG 12.3 target of halving food waste by 2030.