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The new app that aims to cut food waste by offering consumers the chance to buy unsold produce at bargain prices

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Too Good To Go is an app that puts consumers in touch with retailers to stop food ending up in landfill. Brian Stormont tried it out for himself.

Helping to reduce the amount of food waste that goes to landfill is a key driver in efforts to prevent climate change.

But what if you could help to fight climate change, save money and enjoy some amazing food all at the touch of a button?

Well now you can.

A new app, Too Good To Go, has teamed up with large and independent retailers to offer the opportunity to purchase food at the close of trading that would otherwise be going to waste.

Like all good ideas, the concept is simple and the app is also easy to use which means anyone can take advantage.

Too Good To Go states: “Too Good To Go has a simple mission: to make sure all food gets eaten, not wasted.

“In 2016, a group of entrepreneurs witnessed restaurant staff throwing away fresh food. The food’s only problem? It hadn’t sold in time, and no one was around to take it off the restaurant’s hands. The group pioneered a seamless solution: an app that lists businesses’ unsold food so local diners can find, buy and enjoy it.

“Now, thousands of ‘Magic Bags’ are rescued from businesses such as supermarkets, restaurants and bakeries every day. The success of the app powers Too Good To Go’s wider efforts to drive a food waste movement, working with schools, industries and governments to build a planet-friendly food system.

Magic bags

“We call Too Good To Go orders ‘Magic Bags’, because beyond knowing the gist of what your order contains (for instance, muffins and pastries, or sandwiches and salads), the contents are a total surprise. It works in everyone’s favour: stores get the flexibility they need to make sure nothing gets thrown away, and you get to enjoy an exciting – and delicious – discovery.”

Having read about Too Good To Go, who describe themselves as “waste warriors”, I decided to try it out to see how the process worked and also find out just what you could get for your money.

First of all I downloaded the app which I found by simply searching for “toogoodtogo” on the app store for my iPhone. It is also available on Android.

The set-up process was simple and I could register using my Apple ID or Facebook. After that all I had to do was verify my email address and I indeed was good to go!

Navigating my way around the app, which was really easy, I discovered that I could set up a search radius for “magic bags” of 30km.

The contents of our bag from Costa.

In my area, there were a couple of Costa Coffee shops, Morrisons and Café Nero which had recently offered bags and a few others that appeared to be registered but hadn’t had anything available.

The Costa near me was offering a magic bag for £3, so I reserved it, paid by Apple Pay and I received an email telling me that it would be available between 5 and 6pm.

When 5pm came, I duly headed to the outlet where the process of picking up the bag was swift and easy as, due to social distancing, you carry out your checkout through the app.

Tasty treats

Arriving home, my daughter, Cari, eagerly unpacked the bag to discover we had received three croissants, two blueberry muffins and a piece of lemon drizzle loaf cake.

The recommended retail price of the items was £11.30, so we had saved £8 and got some cracking sweet treats.

Confirmation of my efforts as a waste warrior!

Afterwards I checked my email where I was asked to review my purchase through the app and I was also told that my efforts had stopped 2.5kg of CO2 form being produced – the same that would have been emitted if a lightbulb was left on for six days!

My overall impressions of Too Good To Go are favourable indeed, although I obviously only have one experience to go on.

However, what cannot be argued with is the ethos behind the project, the message it is trying to get across of the importance of not wasting food and what it does to the environment.

And users get to enjoy some delicious food and save money too!

Too Good To Go by numbers:

  • 14 countries
  • 2020 became a registered B-Corp
  • 2 million+ meals saved in the UK
  • 5 million kg CO2e saved (equivalent to that emitted by 984 flights around the world)
  • 2.9 million app installs in the UK
  • 3,900 UK partner stores

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