Get to know Clement Mery, the co-founder, and CEO of Willy anti-gaspi (*), a cutting-edge startup tackling food waste head-on. In this exciting interview, we’ll dive into Clement’s journey, learning about how he came to lead one of the most innovative companies in the food waste prevention and reduction industry. From his early motivations to Willy anti-gaspi’s future vision, this interview is a must-read for anyone interested in sustainability, entrepreneurship, and creating a better world.
What prompted you to launch?
With Jonathan, the second co-founder of Willy anti-gaspi, we had the ambition to launch a business that could have a very tangible impact. That’s why we launched Willy anti-gaspi, the first 100% dedicated e-commerce website for fighting food waste. We have been friends for 20 years and both are young fathers. That’s why it was very important for us to connect our professional activity with our personal beliefs.
What problem(s) are you solving?
Food waste accounts for 10 million tons of discarded products annually in France. It is therefore a massive issue that resonates with many French people (93% of French people find food waste unacceptable). Lastly, buying products at a lower cost due to their short expiration date, overstock, or packaging issues allows us to make them accessible to a larger audience by selling them at 25-50% cheaper prices throughout France!
Upstream in the logistics chain, we also offer many brands or/and producers a solution for their unsold stock. These different brands currently have no solution to manage these overstocks. That’s why they have to destroy these products, which is obviously economically and ecologically nonsensical.
What is immediately next for your company?
Our first challenge is to recruit the best possible team. We were just two with Jonathan for a long time. Now we are 9, soon to be 10. We have recruited great profiles in operations, purchasing, tech, data, and warehouse management.
Which are / will be your products?
In our product range, we have everyday basic products such as pasta, tomato sauce, tuna, mustard, and chocolate. We also have higher-end products as well as non-food items (cosmetics, hygiene, household cleaning). We only list organic or locally sourced products.
What is your business model?
We purchase products from producers that would have ended up in the trash. Therefore, we can buy these products from them at a lower cost, allowing us to resell them with a discount ranging from 25-50%, while still securing an average gross margin of 50%.
What’s your current greatest challenge?
Our main challenge is to maintain our level of excellence and excellent customer satisfaction while coping with significant growth (we have doubled our activity in 3 months).
Are you satisfied with your rate of progress?
We are extremely pleased with the progress and execution we currently have. With a small team and a lot of common sense and goodwill, we have surpassed the milestone of saving 110,000 products from the trash.
“I never lose. I either win or learn”Nelson Mandela
(*) I am an early investor in Willy anti-gaspi.