The Success Story of the “Too Good To Go” App in Europe


SEATTLE, Washington — The Too Good To Go app is a food rescue application launched in 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Four years later, the app has expanded to 14 European countries, including those with the largest populations, such as Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. It is safe to say the app is reaping benefits by supporting important issues including food waste, food insecurity, poverty and even climate change.

How Too Good To Go Works

The Too Good To Go app is free and easily downloadable on any smartphone. Users are able to browse from a huge range of selections and are given the freedom to choose where they would like to rescue their meals from; made possible by allying with supermarkets, restaurants, chefs, bakeries, hotels and retail businesses. In addition, people can filter their preferred foods, choose their desired pick-up time, and save their favorites. Essentially, the application is easy to use and encourages people to save food that would otherwise be thrown away.

The Benefits of Too Good To Go

Since its launch, the application has now rescued close to 30 million meals and has over 20 million users or “waste warriors,” across Europe. Globally, it is estimated that a third of the total food produced becomes waste, and in Europe alone, this food waste costs the continent around 143 billion euros per year. The application was created with the mission of reducing food waste and this is exactly what the app has been doing. In return, the app is decreasing the annual amount of money that Europe wastes because of food that goes unused. Therefore, the benefits of the app are not only limited to reducing food waste but expands to supporting Europe’s economy as well.

Another benefit of Too Good To Go is that in its fight against food waste, it is consequentially battling food insecurity as well. Over a billion people across the world will go to sleep hungry and face the hardships of food insecurity, unsure of when or where their next meal will come from. With the app, users have access to safe, high-quality foods that would be normally sold at market price. The application sells the food for a discounted price, reducing costs for people in poverty by two or three-fold. For example, many restaurants on the app provide “magic bags” of leftover food worth around 10-12 euros, which is offered on the app at only 3-4 euros. The utilization of discounted prices inevitably supports poor, vulnerable groups across Europe that live with food insecurity. The app is a major development in displaying how a simple idea can become a major source of dealing with a multitude of complex issues.

A consequence of food production that can be easily overlooked is the fact the process requires tons of energy. Specifically, food waste accounts for approximately 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Since the launch of the app, it is estimated that the app prevented the equivalent of 72,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, the platform has saved 86,747 tons of carbon dioxide production, a harmful by-product of food production. With these benefits, the app is attracting more individuals and businesses that prioritize environmental issues. If the app increases its audience in terms of the number of users, partners, businesses and even countries, then it has the potential to help reduce global climate change.

The Future Ahead

Too Good To Go has been nothing but successful since its initiation four years ago. The developers project a total of 100 million meals to be rescued by the end of 2020. In addition, app founders are currently in the process of hopefully expanding their development to the U.S. market. The reach and benefits of this app cannot be underestimated with proof of its potential to support several important social issues.

-Bolorzul Dorjsuren
Photo: Flickr


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