Food Waste Solution Expands Out West

Too Good To Go working to significantly reduce food waste at retail
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Food Waste Solution Expands Out West Too Good To Go
The Too Good To Go app connects consumers with surplus from grocery stores at the end of each business day, so food doesn't go to waste.

“Tech for good” company Too Good To Go is ready for national expansion as it takes its fight against food waste to the West Coast.

It has been estimated that if food waste were a country, it would be the third- highest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the United States and China, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Good To Go believes the need to raise more awareness of food waste's implications on climate change is crucial. To that end, it offers tangible ways that consumers can take action. Its app helps fill the gaps in the food supply chain, while also playing an important role in the food rescue ecosystem.

The Too Good To Go app connects consumers with surplus from restaurants, bakeries, cafes and grocery stores at the end of each business day, so food doesn't go to waste. Customers can browse participating locations nearby, and then reserve and pay for a Surprise Bag on the app. The contents of each Surprise Bag vary daily, and app users can expect to get a range of products — from a bag of fresh fruit and vegetables, three pizza slices or a couple of extra sushi rolls, to a pint of gelato or an assortment of pastries. Moreover, stores can update the amount of surplus they have in real time, based on how sales are going throughout the day.

More than 200 food shops across the West Coast have already joined the fight against food waste. Too Good To Go's first stop is the Bay Area, with Seattle to follow on May 12, and Portland, Ore., on May 19. The company plans to be in many more of the largest U.S. cities by the end of 2021.

"As one of the regions leading climate change efforts in the U.S., we've had our eyes on the West Coast since we launched stateside seven months ago," said Lucie Basch, co-founder of Too Good To Go, which is a certified B Corp. "We're working to significantly reduce food waste at the retail level and show our app users they can easily take action against climate change. This is an integral part of reaching the UN's net-zero goal by 2050, as food waste contributes to 8% of global greenhouse gases."

Since the company's U.S. launch in September 2020, the app has already amassed more than 650,000 app users, saved 250,000 meals, and added more than 2,000 food shop partners across New York City; Boston; Jersey City, N.J.; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C.

All participating locations can now be found as dots on the map in Too Good To Go's app, and are ready for users to start reserving Surprise Bags.

Founded in 2016, Copenhagen-based Too Good To Go is now in 15 international markets, including France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands. It has saved more than 72 million meals across 15 countries, which adds up to 250 million pounds of food. Beyond the app, Too Good To Go has launched initiatives to change date labeling on food, produced free educational resources for schools and inspired households to change food waste behaviors.

The B Corp also works hand in hand with hunger-relief organizations in every city where it operates. In San Francisco, the company partners with San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. Too Good To Go also works with Rethink Food, The Greater Boston Food Bank and Philabundance to support communities affected by food insecurity.

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