Too Good To Go is here to stay to tackle our food waste challenge
- Business Model Innovation
Talk about food waste? Talk about big impact on the planet. One third of all food produced worldwide ends up in the garbage. Danish platform Too Good to Go wants to fix this massive bug in the system. We were keen to find out how, so we downloaded the app and gave it a go.
First message we received: So glad you saved a meal! Did you know that you can charge your phone 422 times with the energy you’ve saved here? We instantly felt good after reading that message. And we are not alone, based on the success of this scale-up. The goal of Too Good To Go is clear: prevent food waste together. Why this is necessary? Let’s take a brief look at some numbers.
Negative impact on the planet
A third of all food produced for humans goes to waste. Think of meat, bread, strange-looking vegetables and all kinds of dairy products. This happens when products are damaged during transport or have reached the best-before date in the supermarket, after which they are thrown away. People also often buy too much food. A fourth reason? Consumers do not store it correctly. Added together, we are talking about 1.3 billion tons of edible food. With the wasted water you can fill Lake Geneva three times and in terms of agricultural hectares, this is an area larger than China. Scientists have calculated that about 10 percent of CO2 emissions are due to food we don’t eat. Makes you think, doesn’t it?
The system is broken
The problem with food waste is a direct result of the way our food system is designed and set up. Most people find it very normal that there is always enough food in the supermarket or a restaurant, especially in richer parts of the world like Europe and North-America. It must be shiny and have the perfect shape. This is how restaurants and supermarkets serve us the food. After all, they know that good looking food will boost their sales. It is a kind of vicious circle in which we are caught. Everyone thinks bad about food waste, but nobody seems to be able to do anything about it.
60 million saved, and counting
Well, nobody? Too Good To Go is making a successful attempt with their business model. This platform is now active in fifteen countries and has over 11.5 million users. They have saved nearly 60 million meals from ending up in the garbage bin. We hear you wondering, how do they do this? Restaurants, supermarkets and caterers often have food left over. They offer this through the Too Good To Go app. On the other side of the platform, we find the consumer. They collect the food in a so-called magic box at the end of the day. The box contains about € 15 worth of food that is too good to go, as a consumer you only have to pay € 5 to pick it up. The company cashes out € 1 per order as a service fee.
Feel good food
We were obviously curious to find out more. So, we created an account, explored the app and made our first order: a magic box at the supermarket around the corner. We had to go there anyway so that was a score. We received a delicious oven dish, soy yogurt and some spreads. The second time we ordered, we chose a close-by restaurant which we had not been to yet. There we got a box full of surprisingly tasting vegetables, a double score! The fact that we discovered a new restaurant was an added bonus.
But there is actually more to tell. We loved the company’s messaging across all the different channels, it simply made us feel good about ourselves. Too Good To Go cleverly uses the fact that we can be overwhelmed by the problem of food waste, but it’s possible to solve it together.
A perfect platform business model
A platform business model only works if there are sufficient benefits for both parties. Too Good To Go offers plenty of that. Restaurants and supermarkets still earn something with food that would otherwise be thrown away. Consumers get a fair discount and the feeling that they are contributing to a better world. Additionally, it’s very easy to join the app. There is no commitment in order to attract more users and generate scale.
The app and customer process run super smoothly. It means the company is able to create space for activities that contribute to their mission: prevent food waste together. By doing so, they inspire and empower everyone to act against this global problem. Too Good To Go develops information packages for schools and companies and is involved in public affairs to bring about new legislation. Let’s just say, it did not take long for us to become a fan of this company, which is making a business whilst doing good for our society and the planet. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a go.
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