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Food industry 'ebay' seeks to unlock value in unwanted stock

By Carina Perkins+ , 11-Feb-2015

Takestock aims to be a specialist 'ebay' for the food industry
Takestock aims to be a specialist 'ebay' for the food industry

A new digital marketplace for the food industry is helping independent pubs and restaurants source bargain stock direct from food businesses.

Takestock.com is an auction platform which aims to reduce waste by giving food businesses the opportunity to sell unwanted stock on the open market instead of sending it to landfill.  

Registration to the site is free, and sellers can advertise anything from food to packaging, equipment, tableware and equipment. Potential buyers can make an offer on the goods they want, and once a deal is struck payment is made through direct bank transfer, credit and debit cards, PayPal or Stripe.

Takestock charges small commission once the transaction is complete, meaning there is no risk to the seller.

“The best way I can describe the business model is that we are an ebay for the food industry,” Takestock chief executive Campbell Murray told BigHospitality.

“The logic is similar to eBay – if you have something you don’t want, the chance of one of your friends paying market value for it is pretty low. But if you use the network effect of the internet you can find dozens of buyers that want that product, and importantly it will fetch market value.

“It is a win for the seller, because they get rid of a problem, it is a win for the buyer because they get a bargain and it is a win for the environment because it doesn’t go in the ground,” he said.

Level playing field

Murray said the platform has huge benefits for food businesses that would usually have to pay to send excess stock to landfill or sell it to a liquidator for a fraction of its worth.

He claimed it also created a level playing field for independent pubs and restaurants, which do not have the same economies of scale as bigger chains but are more flexible and opportunistic.

“Someone might be selling 500kg of lobster and an independent business can spot it, buy it and put a lobster promotion on that weekend,” he explained.

“The big chains can’t do that, so it is a great leveller for independent pubs and restaurants.”

Video: Introducing Takestock