YourLocal reduces food waste at retail by revolutionizing the way food is sold and bought. With a dynamic secondary marketplace, YourLocal allows consumers to buy quality surplus food directly from local vendors at a steep discount, without cannibalizing on the vendor’s regular sales.
In technical terms, YourLocal creates economic value for food retailers by reducing market risk and inefficiencies inherent to selling perishable goods at low scale. Though they bill themselves as a food-saving product, decreasing surplus inventory expense is only one part of the equation. The platform also empowers shops to practice price discrimination based on willingness-to-pay while maintaining brand equity, and target environmentally conscious consumers without altering their business models.
Using European insights for U.S. expansion strategy
YourLocal launched the current model in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2017 as part of a cohort of new food saving marketplaces in Europe. Over the course of three years, the industry has grown to USD 200 million from just USD 35 million in raised capital.
“Despite the tremendous progress we have made, YourLocal is still a startup. We view Europe as the place to learn, and the United States as the place to expand and scale. Rather than compete directly with larger European competitors, we’re pursuing first-mover status in a new untouched market”, said Kasper Kastoft Nielsen, CEO of YourLocal.
As of November 2018, YourLocal has been growing steadily in NYC, with an expansion strategy informed by insights developed in Europe. One such insight is the unusually important role of network effect on the retailer side in growing and maintaining market share. With investment, the company aims to build a b2b sales team to leverage their position as first mover.
The US market for food saving
Unsold food at retail costs U.S. vendors USD 57 billion annually with no effective solution currently in place. The food-savings marketplace is nascent in the U.S., with most recently proposed solutions relying on unrealistically high levels of cooperation between city, state and federal governments or analytical engines, which require data sets so large that only national chains will be able to extract value from them.
Therefore, YourLocal is in a good position to be a front-runner in North America’s emerging food-savings industry, which attracted USD 125M in capital during the first three quarters of 2018. Furthermore, the addressable market is substantial – there are 400,000 food retailers selling pre-prepared food (ready-to-eat) across the U.S. and Canada. A 10 per cent share will lead to a potential USD 500 million gross revenue annually.
Each meal, YourLocal customers save, is equal to 2KG of CO2, and 10 meals is the carbon-saving equivalent of a newly planted tree. The customers save food and the environment, quantifying their impact as individuals without sacrificing the quality of the food they consume. YourLocal’s core message focusses on empowering the individual to make an impact with every meal.
Finding the right partners
Through the Access Cities program, YourLocal will work together with Danish Cleantech Hub, who is the New York lead on the Access Cities program. Access Cities is an international, public-private program, which aims to strengthen sustainable urban development in five progressive cities – New York, Singapore, Munich and the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Aarhus. The project connects stakeholders working with sustainable urban development in the pursuit of game-changing solutions to common issues confronting cities.
Danish Cleantech Hub will assist YourLocal with finding U.S. partners that can help scale the company, and thus reduce food waste across the U.S.
For more information contact Danish Cleantech Hub