Food & Drink

TotalCtrl knows what’s in your fridge & saves you money

By Kitty Knowles 20 November 2017
Summary

No more crying over spoiled milk.

Sick of coming home to find only gone-off milk in the fridge? Or digging a tin out of the cupboard only to throw it in the bin?

TotalCtrl wants to change that.

Founded this spring, the Norwegian company is working to reduce food waste at home and in shops, by keeping tabs on when things expire.

We’re here to be that personal kitchen assistant you always wished for, to help you take action to reduce your family’s food waste, and to help you plan better and buy smarter” co-founder and CEO Charlotte Aschim, tells The Memo.

Meet Charlotte Aschim

Aschim was first inspired to TotalCtrl while working in a grocery store as a student.

Every night before closing, she’d have 30 minutes in the store to find goods that were approaching or had expired, and left feeling unhappy about all the food she’d thrown out.

She started a logbook of expiration dates to help give the store a better overview, especially over canned food and long-life goods, and started to think about how technology could benefit the business.

Six years later she joined forces with co-founder Ingrid Østby to bring a high-tech solution to life, and learned that its actually consumers who account for 61% of all food waste in Norway.

With this in mind that they developed an app that can be used both by businesses and you, in your home.

It sounds pretty awesome.

How it works

The idea behind TotalCtrl is to make it easier to plan, buy, and use up food. It’s due to launch in December, as part of the mobile app for online supermarket Handleriet.

“When you get your food delivered home, all items will appear in the app sorted by expiration date and you will be notified before the goods expire,” says Aschim.

“The app gives you an overview of the food you have at home – and the chance to use it before it’s too late.”

Among other perks, the app also sends out automatically generated food recipes based on what you have in your home. “This will help you get inspired to use what you already have before purchasing more,” says Aschim.

Business owners who sign up to TotalCtrl, like Handleriet, will also benefit from expiration notifications, letting them manage their stock better.

“Our target market is the online grocery industry, but the end users of our solutions are consumers, the busy families with small children – the stressed out moms and the tired dads who would rather spend time with their family than go grocery shopping,” she says.

“We see you, stressed out moms, and we’re here to help.”

Thinking big

Launched on funding from Innovation Norway, TotalCtrl will close its first formal investment round in January 2018.

The team has already tested its software with environmental organisations. And Aschim hopes that Handleriet will be the first of many supermarkets it works with.

“We know our users will feel like they’re contributing to saving the world – because they are,” she explains. “An added bonus to that would be their feeling of increased control, that feeling that they are buying smarter and using better.”

In five years she wants her technology to be used all over the world so that in 20 years “our children get to grow up in a world completely without any food waste.”

Just imagine a future where you’re ‘totally in control’ of what you eat and what you chuck.

Never throw food in the bin again.