Half a million products saved and €440,000 saved by consumers in 5 years: the fight against waste by E.Leclerc at Plougastel bears fruit with Smartway

Long committed to combating food waste, 5 years ago the E.Leclerc store at Plougastel chose to put its trust in Smartway.

This committed Retail Tech has released a technological platform based on artificial intelligence that guides in-store teams to detect products approaching their expiry date and to decide the best way to repurpose them: labelling with a suitable discount or donation to charitable organisations. In addition, a dedicated ‘Zéro Gâchis‘ [Zero Waste] space in store offers customers products close to the Use By Date on promotion. Action at all levels that is bearing fruit.

In 5 years, Smartway has helped to reduce in-store waste by 90%, to save half a million products, or 215 tonnes of food, and to save consumers €440,000. This action also responds to the expectations of French people: a recent study conducted by OpinionWay for Smartway* reveals, in particular, that 94% of the French are aware of food waste and that it is as much the retail chains (69%) as consumers themselves (64%) that have to take action to reduce food waste.



Smartway has released the first Food Waste Management System (FWMS). This technological platform based on a unique Artificial Intelligence makes it possible to optimise the entire chain of food losses in mass retail by taking action at every stage by means of several tools, all used by the E.Leclerc store at Plougastel:

  • Smartdetection, ‘Short Date GPS’ that enables teams to locate end-of-life products.
  • Smartdecision, which decides the best repurposing route by making the most profitable choice for each product.
  • Smartdiscount, which automatically prints a discounted label to sell each product.
  • Smartdonation, which facilitates, dematerialises and safeguards the administrative procedures related to donating food.

Easy to use and intuitive, the Smartway solutions support in-store teams and facilitate daily tasks. In this way, for E.Leclerc at Plougastel, the time spent at the shelves every morning to check product expiry dates has been divided by 4.

Real tools to aid shelf management, Smartway solutions have also made it possible to deal better with managing products and their shelf life in advance. By this means the number of expired products has been divided by 3, the result of better detection and better repurposing (price reduction or charity donations).


Using Smartway solutions has a measurable impact, on food waste of course, but also on purchasing power and environmental impact. In five years, the E.Leclerc store at Plougastel has saved 215 tonnes of food, or the equivalent of 400,000 meals, and offered its customers €440,000 in discounts. Finally, by being able to adjust orders better and to reduce the volume of food discarded, Smartway and E.Leclerc have avoided the production of 546 tonnes of CO2. Really and very impressive results for one store, that asks only to be rolled out at a much larger scale.

Jean-Marie de Bel-Air, Member of E.Leclerc at Plougastel

“We have been committed to an anti-waste policy for several years, whether by optimising end-of-life for products, by managing waste, the circular economy, etc. Using Smartway solutions has enabled us to accelerate implementation of this policy. We’ve succeeded in reducing our waste by 90% while also saving 70% of the scrap value. And all this while saving time on management processes and simplifying the work of the teams that are consequently better motivated. I’ve seen a clear improvement in managing dates, thanks to a very reliable solution avoiding any expired product on the shelf. Consumers can buy in complete safety.”


The war on waste is a really motivating issue among the French, as revealed by a study conducted last April by OpinionWay for Smartway. Thus, 94% the French pay attention to food waste and 1 in 2 French people feel guilty when they throw a product away. The survey also points to the importance of the Use By Date for consumers: 82% of them look at it in the store. And yet half of them have already purchased, without noticing it, a product passed its Use By Date. An issue to which Smartway responds, making it possible to avoid there being any expired product on the shelf while Zero Waste areas in the store ensure that short-dated products are only present on dedicated shelves.

Another lesson from the study is that more than 9 out of 10 French people are asking stores for more reductions on products close to their Use By Date, while 85% of the French would prefer to go to a shop displaying an anti-waste policy. They also think that it is as much the retail chains (69%) as consumers themselves (64%) that have to take action to reduce food waste. Expectations completely in step with Smartway’s approach, which has been supporting retailers on this issue since 2012.

*“OpinionWay-Smartway study: The French and food waste” – April 2021

Press contact : Presse & Cie – Laetitia Munoz – Tel +33 (0)6 20 49 90 39 – lmunoz@presse-cie.com

About Smartway

A food store throws away as much as it earns! While more and more consumers are in need, this waste is no longer tolerated: stores can now remedy this, while also increasing their profitability.

As a committed company since 2012, originator of ‘Zero Waste’ shelves, Smartway has created the first Food Waste Management System platform to optimise the end-of-life pathway for food products.

Relying on unique artificial intelligence, Smartway solutions guide in-store teams to detect products approaching their expiry date and decides the best way to recycle them: labelling with a suitable discount or simplified donation to charitable organisations.

“Working daily to reduce waste together”. smartway.ai