Plant-based meals, doing away with novelty products and technology could help build a more sustainable food supply chain.
The food rescue sector is developing phone apps including "the Tinder of food rescue" to cut down on waste and feed those in need.
Technology and valuing sustenance over novelty could lead to a more positive food supply chain, according to Sarah Pennell, the general manager of food relief organisation Foodbank.
Foodbank is working with social enterprise YWaste to create an app that allows in-need families or individuals to pick up a free meal from a restaurant with dignity.
YWaste's current app allows people to search and purchase meals that would have gone to waste at a discounted price from cafes and restaurants.
"Things like blockchain technology and so on are going to make food production and food distribution more efficient," Ms Pennell told AAP.
"They are going to enable all surplus food in the food chain to get efficiently to people who need it and then technology will help to educate us."
Ms Pennell was speaking at a Vivid panel on The Future of Food in the Circular Economy in Sydney on Friday, where she also raised the problem of novelty products that ultimately hit consumers' ability to value their food.
She said flavoured Tim Tams were among the novelty products that have ended up in Foodbank's warehouses after failing to catch on.
"What we want is novelty so we like new launches, new flavours, new brands - not all of them work. Therefore there's a lot of waste," she said.
"All of these things, unfortunately, lead to inefficiencies in the food supply chain."
Fellow speaker Josh Niland, who is head chef at St. Peter fish restaurant, has found ways to avoid waste and get value out of every aspect of his ingredients.
Niland uses the whole fish not just the fillet in his cooking with strange but popular delicacies of black pudding from fish blood, caramel out of fish fat, and creations using fish eyes, heart, liver or sperm.
He said the same innovation could be used across plant-based ingredients.
IKEA country food manager Ivana Frost said they have committed to using more plant-based products with vegetable-based meatballs, hotdogs and soft serve ice creams to be added to the menu.
She wants the wider industry to become more sustainable from its packaging to its impacts on the communities where the food is sourced.
"We will challenge our contractors and suppliers to be better, to be more innovative in the ways they package and transport," she said.
"We can say to suppliers we preference partners that are exploring innovations like plant-based packaging and actively reducing waste in a value chain."