Too Good To Go, an app that helps reduce food waste, was officially launched in Wageningen on 21 January 2019. This app enables consumers to order and collect surplus food from local retailers at low prices. Wageningen University & Research is getting together with Too Good To Go to launch a consumer survey on the changing awareness of food waste and consumers' behaviour towards it.
Consumers in Wageningen can now order a "Magic Box" via an app. The box is filled with surplus food that retailers and restaurants would otherwise throw away at the end of the day. Outlets range from bakeries that throw away fresh bread every day to restaurants that were expecting to be busier than they were and therefore have meals left over. The contents of the Magic Box are a surprise for the consumer – they only find out what's in it when they collect it.
Wageningen University & Research and Too Good To Go will work together to analyse what consumers do with the Magic Box. Will they actually eat the food they "rescue"? Will using the app get consumers to think differently about food waste and change their behaviour towards it?
Too Good To Go is passionate about creating a world without waste, a world in which all the food that is produced is actually consumed. Since it was launched in the Netherlands a year ago, the company has rescued more than 200,000 meals which would otherwise have been thrown straight in the bin. The researchers expect to obtain the following results:
- Reduction in product losses in retail
- Reduction in waste by consumers
- Lower waste processing costs
- Economic impulse
Houdbaarheid Begrepen (Understanding Expiry Dates)
This research project forms part of the ongoing public-private partnership Houdbaarheid Begrepen (Understanding Expiry Dates, 2016-2019). In it, Wageningen University & Research is working with partners to reduce food waste by developing innovative concepts and services around smart shelf management and effective communication aimed at consumers. They are also looking into scaling up promising solutions and further reducing product losses and food waste. Furthermore, new business models will need to be developed in order to motivate consumers to deal with food in a more sustainable way.
Wageningen Real-life Laboratory
This unique experiment forms part of the "Wageningen, levend laboratorium Samen tegen Voedselverspilling" (Wageningen, real-life laboratory 'Together against Food Waste') initiative. In March 2018, the Netherlands' first Verspilling is Verrukkelijk-schap (Waste is Tasty) supermarket shelf was launched in collaboration with the Municipality of Wageningen, Jumbo supermarket Verberne, 18 entrepreneurs from the Verspilling is Verrukkelijk platform and MVO-Nederland. Wageningen University & Research is conducting research into consumer acceptance of these surplus products.
Too Good To Go
Having originated in Denmark, Too Good To Go has been operational in the Netherlands since the beginning of 2018. The app already has more than 250,000 registered users and almost 1,000 partners covering all provinces in the Netherlands. It will also be available in Wageningen from 21 January. The company already operates in nine European countries. Too Good To Go is therefore the rising star in the world of food waste apps. Companies working with the app include HEMA, AH-to-go, Marqt and Accor Hotels.
Relevant general statistics on food waste*
- In 2016, food waste across the total food chain including the consumer was estimated at between 1.7 and 2.5 million tonnes.
- On average, consumers waste 41 kg of food per person per year.
The figure in the corporate catering sector is around 50 million kg per year.
- The financial loss to Dutch supermarkets is estimated at 3.6% of total sales of perishables.
- Too Good To Go operates at the interface between consumer (53%), retail (5%) and foodservice (12%). Based on European figures, we estimate that these three links in the food chain together account for 70% of total food waste.
Top 5 most wasted products in 2016:
Samen tegen Voedselverspilling Foundation
Too Good To Go is a stakeholder member of the Samen tegen Voedselverspilling (Together against Food Waste) Foundation. To increase the positive impact it is having on food waste, it is a logical step for the company to start playing an active role in the foundation. Joost Rietveld, Country Manager Too Good To Go Nederland: "Cooperation is essential if we are to achieve the objective of Too Good To Go and help make food waste a thing of the past. What makes our role in this partnership special is the creativity and can-do mentality of a start-up. For example, we took some significant steps last year which we intend to at least double this year together with other members of the foundation."
*) These figures are based on the research results of FUSIONS, Verwaarding van voedselreststromen uit supermarkten (Value of food waste streams from supermarkets) and the Monitor Voedselverspilling (Food Waste Monitor).