Sainsbury’s Trialing Fridges With Cameras To Help Shoppers Reduce Food Waste

Sainsbury’s has begun testing a fridge that contains a camera trained on its contents aimed at stopping shoppers from buying food that they don’t need.

The move is part of the chain’s ‘Waste less, Save more’ initiative and comes after research found that found that 25% households waste over £235 worth of food every year after buying products that they already have in their fridge, a practice that Sainsbury’s estimates costs UK households £1.5bn a year.

The fridge has been developed by Bosch and uses embedded cameras to send pictures of its shelves and door to the owner’s smartphone whilst they are out shopping. Users can also control the temperature of the fridge remotely through their phone and new ‘VitaFresh’ technology helps keep food fresh up to three times longer.

The Bosch fridge is the latest innovation to be put to the test by households in the town of Swadlincote as part of Sainsbury’s Waste less, Save more initiative. The retailer is investing £1m in making Swadlincote the official test-bed of ideas to cut food waste by 50% over 12 months.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability at Sainsbury’s said: “Our customers tell us that despite best intentions, they often find it difficult to remember what is in their fridge which can lead to them over-buying. With 4.2m tonnes of food wasted each year in the UK we’re on a mission to help households plan their shopping better and reduce the amount of food they throw away. With our focus on finding innovative solutions we have teamed up with Bosch to trial their unique camera fridge which will give shoppers an instant view of the contents of their fridge whilst shopping – triggering a reminder to prevent buying more than they need.”

Charlotte Moran, Group Marketing Manager for Bosch added: “The Bosch fridge is very versatile when it comes to assisting with our hectic daily lives, and with the latest camera technology it can help save on overbuying – which is why we’ve partnered with Sainsbury’s on its Waste less, Save more initiative.”

NAM Implications:
  • Smart fridge is perhaps a step away from auto top-ups of regular items…
  • …and pretty magnanimous of Sainsbury’s in that helping a shopper reduce wastage by £235/annum could mean that much less purchased in store…