What happened to Motatos?
Motatos launched in the UK, as a budget supermarket, in 2022 to rival the likes of Aldi and Lidl. The concept was straight forward a cheap supermarket selling surplus produce from big brands at knockdown prices direct to the consumer. Like an Ocado but for surplus stock.
Who are Motatos?
Motatos launched in the UK in June 2022 but the company behind Motatos actually launched in Sweden in 2014. They have now expanding to other major European countries where the brand is know as Matsmart.
Spanning food, drinks, household, pet food and beauty Motatos buys surplus stock from brands, distributors and wholesalers, saving good produce from going to landfill. These products are purchased for a fraction of wholesale prices and are sold to the public, in turn, via the Motatos website for bargain prices.
Despite appearing to be a start up Motatos has raised over €100m of funding from private equity in Europe and the UK to fund their domestic and international growth. As recent as September 2022, Motatos raised £30m of investment from investors to expand further in the UK.
Why is Motatos so cheap?
Motatos focus is on short shelf like and surplus inventory from brands and distributors. This stock will not be accepted by major retailers so instead brands will sell this excess stock at large deductions to boost their cashflow and shift stock with a limited appeal. Motatos would in turn pass these savings onto customers via their excess stock website.
Of course, consumers will have a limited time to consume the short shelf life stock but, also, consuming stock that is past the best before date is perfectly safe. All of this means that consumer benefitted from being able to buy big branded products at a big discount.
The downside is that surplus stock is sporadic and, especially when it comes to buy cheap food and drink, doing a grocery shop with only limited stock availability is going to lead you to completing the grocery shop elsewhere.
What happened to Motatos?
In September 2023, Motatos closed down it's UK operations citing that it was going to focus on core European markets. They went onto mention the 'tough trading conditions in the UK'. Motatos will honour the outstanding orders and be available for customer service queries until October 2023 but that will be the last of their market presence in the UK.
This will obviously leave a huge hole in the zero waste market, limiting options for consumers to shop of surplus products but liquidation.store will continue the work that Motatos has left, ensuring that no good stock goes to landfill.