Too Good To Go launches in Calgary

Calgary is the first city in Alberta, and the fifth city in Canada to welcome the surplus food app.
Too Good to Go customers tend to value sustainability (Photo: Supplied)

Too Good To Go is entering the Calgary market, more than 100 stores already activated in the mission to save save food from going to waste. 

Calgary is the first city in Alberta, and the fifth city in Canada to welcome the surplus food app.

Founded in 2016,  Too Good To Go connects businesses - convenience stores, grocers, bakeries, cafes, restaurants and other food vendors - who have surplus food at the end of the day with consumers who purchase Surprise Bags of that food a third of the retail cost.

For businesses, the draw it two-fold - are able to recoup lost revenue they would otherwise incur by throwing out perfectly good food and they lessen the impact of food waste on the planet.

Want to learn more about how convenience stores can increase sustainability efforts? Keep an eye out for the 2022 Sustainability Report in the upcoming May/June issue of Convenience Store News Canada. 

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Consumers, who increasingly value companies who align with sustainability efforts, like the service because they get to eat great food and try out new local spots.

Too Good To Good states: "Food waste is a global issue that is combated at the local level."

Too Good To Go is launching in Calgary with the support of Chunk'd Cookies, Lena's Italian Market, Artigano, Hoopla Doughnuts, the Teatro GroupAl Forno, Holy Cow and Vendome. More stores are added daily.

"We are floored by the reception we have received in Calgary thus far," said Sam Kashani, Too Good To Go Country Manager, "our partners are at the frontline of the fight against food waste. They know more than anyone how important it is to eliminate waste and how crushing it can be financially and emotionally to discard food that was lovingly prepared. Our Calgary launch partners were each carefully selected as representatives of the vibrancy of the city, its people and its food scene. Without partners as strong as these we wouldn't be successful."

As Too Good to Go continues its expansion, the focus is on empowering local businesses and consumers to fight food waste, adds Kashami: "We strive to provide a solution that is easy for companies to use and fun for customers to work into their daily routine. What we've experienced since entering Calgary is beyond what we could have hoped for. Not only have our partners embraced our fight to end food waste, consumers have already given us really positive encouragement by sharing their Surprise Bag contents and helping spread our message throughout the city."

The past two years have exacerbated an already drastic food waste problem: 58% of food that is good to eat goes to waste each year in Canada. Edible food waste in Canada equates to the weight of 20 million cows. The pandemic heightened supply chain issues, brought labour shortages and many uncertainties for food-selling businesses. 

Too Good To Go is also joining forces with Calgary Food Bank to lessen the impact of food insecurity. Starting immediately, Too Good To Go is welcoming in-app donations, 100% of which go directly to the food bank.

Avaleen Streeton, food industry supervisor of Calgary Food Bank, said "these days, it's hard to turn around without seeing a headline about supply chain issues or rising food prices. Over the past few months, the Calgary Food Bank has seen first hand how this has increased the number of people requesting emergency food hampers. While 77% of all the food we receive is rescued from the food industry, we know that there is a lot more excess food out there. We are excited to team up with Too Good To Go as their charity partner in their quest to connect Calgarians with businesses to help reduce food waste."

Consumers download the Too Good To Go app, which connects them to surplus food from local restaurants and grocery stores, such as pastries, fresh produce, sushi and more, which would otherwise be thrown away to make room for the next batch of goods. Too Good To Go says it has saved more than 124 million meals from more than 144,000 partners in 17 countries.

In addition, Too Good To Go has launched initiatives to change date labelling on food, produced free educational resources for schools, and inspired households to change food waste behaviours.

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