The Sustainable Packaging Coalition is pleased to announce the 2021 winners and finalists of the Food Waste Repackaged Innovation Challenge.
From July through September 2021, the Innovation Challenge for startups and young companies sought to foster new designs and technologies for primary food packaging that help prevent food waste. Finalists received mentorship and guidance from industry and non-profit leaders, and their innovations were assessed by experts from academia and consulting who study food waste technologies.
This Challenge was the final component of Food Waste Repackaged, a new project launched by the SPC in 2021 to raise awareness about packaging’s role in food waste and spur packaging innovations that will help prevent food waste. Together with our partners, Closed Loop Partners, GreenBiz, Packaging Europe, ReFED, RILA, Ubuntoo, and our sponsors Dow, WestRock, Trayak, and The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation, we have organized a Learning Series, Innovation Challenge, and Mentorship Program to help bring awareness to this problem.
The two winners of the Food Waste Repackaged Innovation Challenge are:
Ryp Labs is a food and crop protection company developing and commercializing biomimicry solutions to combat global food waste, sustainably and safely. Their food-safe sticker, StixFresh, can extend the shelf life of fresh produce by up to two weeks, by simply peeling and applying the sticker to the produce. Their sachets and sheets formats, Shelf Defense, can be placed in clamshells and other container formats to protect smaller fruits such as berries and grapes from premature rotting.
Innoscentia is developing labels for dynamic shelf life of food in order to unlock the full potential shelf life and thereby reduce waste produced because of the current expiration dates. Their analogue label is cheap to produce, proven to enable a price premium and highly appreciated by end consumers in early testing.
We’d also like to congratulate our two finalists:
Green Pod Labs is working in developing markets to bring active packaging that activates a defense mechanism within the fruit and vegetable to slow down the ripening rate and prevent any microbial growth during transport and storage.
SAVRpak reduces food waste through the removal of condensation from inside food containers; achieved by leveraging the dew point temperature. SAVRpak extends the shelf life of leafy greens and berries by 50% with a drop-in sachet.
In a Project Drawdown analysis of solutions to climate change, preventing food waste was the #1 way to remove and sequester greenhouse gases. Making changes to packaging design is the 7th most effective way to reduce the climate emissions from food waste, according to the ReFED Insights Engine. These changes could help prevent 650,000 tons of food waste a year.
The SPC hopes these winning companies will continue to refine their technologies, attract investment, and gain important insights into how consumers interact with their products; in addition to the hope that established CPG brands and retailers will explore these and other technologies as potential solutions that can help to prevent food waste in their supply chains.
Packaging can play a key role in addressing food waste, and the winners and finalists of the Innovation Challenge are exciting examples of the potential that lies ahead.