Six food waste apps to watch. #2: Too Good To Go

Around the world, innovators are coming up with high-tech ways to tackle food waste. In this six-part series, we look at innovative apps set to tackle food waste. Number 2: Too Good To Go.

Food waste is a huge problem and one that’s getting worse. In developing countries, the waste tends to happen at the beginning of the chain due to inferior harvesting, storing and cooling techniques. But in more developed countries, it’s consumer behaviour that tends to be the biggest cause of waste.

While many of the problems will require systematic change on a global level, others are solvable by smaller behavioural or process changes. And it’s these that software developers are seeking to address with a range of applications that are designed to keep food out of the waste bin.

There is an app for that

From farm to fork, if there is wastage in the food supply chain, the chances are there’s an app for that. In this six-part series, we look at high-tech solutions that are at the forefront of the fight against food waste.

#2. Too Good To Go

During a restaurant visit, a bright mind (Dane Thomas Momsen) saw all the remains of the buffet being thrown in the trash at the end of the evening and thought, 'Can't this be changed?'. And that is just what he did: Too Good To Go started mid-2015 as a website –an app version followed shortly after – that allows users to buy food that would otherwise go to waste from restaurants, bakeries, cafés and takeaways at discounted rates.

Klaus Pedersen, one of the Danish co-founders of the app, tells Too Good to Go's story: "After that night in the restaurant, Thomas called a number of friends and we started working on the idea together. Out of an apartment in Copenhagen we built a website, on which restaurants and bakeries could offer their daily leftovers, and consumers could buy them at bargain prices. The response was very positive, although it was initially a laborious process in practice. Soon we built the Too Good To Go app and now the whole process of supply and demand is arranged by the users themselves."

“Shocking: A third of all food worldwide gets wasted”

- Klaus Pedersen, co-founder Too Good to Go

Too Good to Go has been downloaded 3 million times since its launch two years ago, and is now available in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, with the Netherlands to come on board early 2018. The advantages are obvious for both restaurants and consumers.

"Think of bakeries who want to have full shelves throughout the day, but therefore have to throw out a lot. We offer them a solution to the problem. In addition, they get new customers in their store who may otherwise not have come."

"Consumers use Too Good To Go thanks to a combination of environmental considerations and low prices. To date, 2.6 million meals have been saved from the trash and we plan on expanding further in Europe, so this number will only increase. It is shocking when you think about the fact that a third of all food worldwide gets wasted. In our own way we want to contribute to the problem of food waste."

According to Joost Rietveld, Country Director of Too Good To Go in the Netherlands, waste is a particular problem in his country. “We waste more food here than anywhere else in Europe,” he says. “So we have a huge job to do. But thanks to Too Good To Go's experience in other countries, we immediately have a head start. We provide an easy solution with a pleasant experience for users, restaurants and shops. With this experience and the user-friendly app, we are confident that we can add value to the fight against food waste in the Netherlands."

Curious about the other innovations featured in this series about food waste apps, see:

#1: NoFoodWasted
#3. OLIO
#4. ImpactVision
#5. Winnow
#6. FreshSurety