Too Good to Go is a company striving to impact the food waste crises our planet is currently experiencing. The entire premise of the Too Good to Go is extremely innovative and unlike anything I’ve ever come across in the past. Furthermore, it seems as though the company has given careful attention to maximize the efficiency of its service while remaining realistic about the intricacies and logistics of food waste. I also greatly admire that Too Good to Go seeks to impact (even if it is only marginally) public policy addressing food waste, as well as some of its other goals to create larger systemic changes. That being said, I think that the most useful way to impact food waste comes would resemble altering a culture that constantly overproduces food. This would address the root cause of the problem, rather than simply offer a solution to distribute surplus food after resources have already been consumed to create it.
Earlier this summer, I remember watching a video of a Dunkin Donut’s employee discard what appeared to be hundreds of Munchkins. The comment section was brimming with negative remarks concerning the unnecessary waste this practice created. Too Good to Go is a solution of sorts to the problem of food waste in the restaurant industry. The company’s app connects users to local grocery stores and restaurants who have surpluses of food or leftovers at the end of the business day. The end result: customers can save money on eating what they love while also helping to reduce food waste. About 38 million people across the globe have used Too Good to Go at least once, and the company helps distribute the surplus food of over 90,000 cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, bakeries, hotels, and more, accumulating to a total of nearly 70 million meals saved. Overall, I love the concept of the service which Too Good to Go offers, but as with everything, there’s likely room for improvement. On the one hand, while Too Good to Go is certainly offering restaurants and grocery stores an alternative to their normally wasteful practices, this does nothing to confront the problem that oftentimes businesses needlessly over order and over produce. Furthermore, it seems as though the individuals using Too Good to Go are those who have the financial means to eat out and order in more regularly. In other words, I believe that there are underserved demographics in the US who lack consistent access to nutritious and affordable food. Too Good to Go doesn’t offer any information regarding the demographics that the app users belong to, but I think a concerted effort on connecting those who are perhaps less financially stable to this app could really serve to advance it’s mission.
The mission of Too Good to Go is to “inspire and empower everyone to take action against food waste”. In order to achieve this, the company has outlined four pillars which serve as the basis for goals it’s attempting to reach. One of the pillars I found most interesting was that of Public Affairs. More specifically, the company hopes to influence political agendas surrounding food waste in at least 5 countries. To me, this pillar evinces that Too Good to Go is interested in creating structural and systemic change, although the mechanics of how they plan to influence political agendas is still somewhat unclear to me. The next pillar which grabbed my attention was schools. Too Good to Go aims to “inspire” 500 schools to limit their food waste, and while I once again think this goal is relevant in terms of identifying that positive change must be structural, I think it is a bit unambitious. Rather than simply attempt to inspire schools, I believe it would be more beneficial for Too Good to Go to work directly with them and provide it’s service to them.
Jamie Crummie helped found Too Good to Go in 2016. His goal was to create a company that would truly create a positive social impact, and that would help create a world where food waste is nonexistent. Soon after beginning, Crummie and his partners conducted a survey and discovered that over two thirds of Britains were unaware that food waste contributed to climate change. Thus, raising awareness surrounding the negative environmental effects of food waste quickly became another core tenet of the company’s mission. Anecdotal feedback on the app has illustrated that once users are aware of food waste, they begin altering their behavior towards food in the home environment in addition to when they eat out.