Food is too good to waste, so Too Good to Go has a solution. Started in France about five years ago, this “app” is an easy, economical way to empty the green bin.
Lucie Basch, one of the co-founders, is a Frenchwoman responsible for the development of the business in the US.
Waste is no small problem in the United States: according to the USDA Economic Research Service, it accounts for between 30 and 40% of food production.
And if you look at the numbers for California, that represented almost half a million tons of food lost in the retail sector in 2019.
The Too Good To Go app combines multiple benefits for consumers, for the planet, and for small businesses. First, local residents get a discount on end-of-day sales baskets, second the food does not end up in a garbage dump, and third retail can get a small profit from their unsold products.
How does it work?
At the end of each working day, the Too Good To Go app connects consumers with surpluses from restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and grocery stores so fresh produce isn’t wasted.
After entering an address, customers can browse nearby participating establishments, then book and pay for a reduced price for a surprise basket from the app. The contents of each surprise basket vary daily and users of the app can expect to get a selection of products ranging from a bag of fresh fruits and vegetables, slices of pizza or a few sushi rolls, a pint of ice cream, or an assortment of pastries.
With the discount going up to 70% of the normal price, one can well accept the “surprise” effect.
In terms of food shops and restaurants, it is a way of managing unsold goods on a daily basis and losing as little income as possible, but also of being part of a more global and eco-responsible movement.
Nicolas Bernadi, CEO of La Boulangerie de San Francisco is one of the first to embrace the concept in the bay and said: “It is very important for us to be socially and environmentally responsible neighbors in our community, that is why we are delighted to partner with Too Good To Go to limit food waste as much as possible ”.
As the Too Good To Go app is free, the company is remunerated by taking a small part of the price of the surprise basket.
Now present in 15 international markets, including France, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Spain, Germany, and the Netherlands, Too Good To Go has quickly become the benchmark in Europe with more than 37 million downloads and over 72 million meals recorded to date.
We can’t wait to see the impact of this app in the city of San Francisco and the East Bay … For now the peninsula remains to be conquered.
And if the prospect of buying a basket at a reduced price does not appeal to consumers, Too Good To Go, lets them donate directly from the app to the San Francisco Marin Food Bank with whom they have a partnership.