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Price intelligently to stop food wastage

Sanjiv Purushotham/Dubai
Filed on June 11, 2018
Price intelligently to stop food wastage
More than 84% of the food waste generated by surveyed US restaurants ended up in the landfill.


The Hala kiwi app can be used to actively avoid food wastage

A 2013 study conducted by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR), on behalf of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, indicated that more than 84 per cent of the food waste generated by surveyed US restaurants ended up in the landfill. Only 1.4 per cent was donated, while 14.3 per cent was recycled and most of that was reclaimed as cooking oil. On average, say the authors, that translates to 15.7 per cent food loss across the industry, or 3.3 pounds of food waste per $1,000 of company revenue. It seems fairly obvious that with the prevalence of smart mobile devices and analytics, a significant amount of this wastage can be reduced.

So, let's see how. Empirical data proposes that 70 per cent of all food delivery or take-out orders are placed using mobile. This is because mobile telephones are the most preferred means for browsing the Internet. Statistics show that despite the increase in the number of mobile phone users globally, these devices are being used less and less for actual calls and much more for data-related services. The usage of devices for smart applications related to ordering food increased from four per cent to 30 per cent between 2013 and 2016.

In 2018, 66 per cent of individuals in 52 key countries will own a smartphone, up from 63 per cent in 2017 and 58 per cent in 2016, according to Zenith's Mobile Advertising Forecasts 2017. The rapid expansion of smartphone ownership across the world has transformed the way that advertisers communicate with consumers. Hence, mobile applications for food shops or restaurants will totally recreate user engagement by eliminating current marketing challenges, building customer engagement and creating pricing economics intelligently and in real time to maximise yield.

Hala kiwi ( is a real time dynamic pricing platform that restaurant and food shops can use to capitalise on changes in their market and optimise their individual operations. This food application currently runs in 35 restaurants and is expected to reach 150 by the end of 2018. Hala kiwi states that it has been able to generate revenue and wide interest from the food and beverage market.

According to Hamza Abdurrahman, founder of the company, the in5 incubated business looks forward to growing into a world-class brand with an angel investor familiar with the food and beverage (F&B) space or venture capital firms that are well-entrenched in the UAE. Using real-time capabilities, restaurants can reach their customers directly via the Hala kiwi app. It can be used to actively avoid wastage. Off-peak hour demand can be efficiently managed through dynamic pricing by restaurants, thereby mitigating high overheads. It's a win-win - consumers are spoilt for choice at attractive prices and restaurants maximise profitability, thereby reducing food wastage.

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According to a KPMG market study in 2017, the food and beverage industry generated Dh12 billion in the UAE alone. The number of people who use food applications is about 65 per cent of the total market size and in the next two years, Hala kiwi aims to capture at least 10 per cent of this market, primarily based on discount offers at non-peak and odd hours. This translates to generating higher revenue on the same investment dollar while solving real life problems.

Downloading the Hala kiwi app now will grant its users lifelong access to the application. By focusing on the fundamentals of F&B, Hala kiwi appears to be following a Blue Ocean strategy. It is not battling out with other apps in the Place element of the 4Ps. Instead, it focuses more on astute pricing and promotions. Hala kiwi's long-term vision includes plans to spread across geographies. It is already receiving business proposals and partnership from countries like India and Nigeria.

Abdurrahman graduated from Texas A&M University where he studied engineering. He has expertise in sales and social media ads marketing. He has helped restaurants and business owners grow and retain their customer base.

He is passionate about eliminating food waste from the UAE as well as those countries in the region that have the highest food-wastage per capita.

The writer is founding partner at BridgeDFS, a bespoke digital financial services advisory firm ( Views expressed are his own and do not reflect the newspaper's policy. He can be contacted at

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