A new Edmonton app aims to help save food waste and get meals to hungry customers at a cheaper rate.
Too Good To Go is a food rescue mobile app that allows restaurants to list food items – usually surplus items that won’t be able to be sold before the end of the day – at a lower price. It was officially launched in Edmonton on May 18.
Local businesses, local consumers and the planet can all “win” with this model, said Sam Kashani, director of Canadian operations at Too Good To Go.
“Everything on our app is basically a third of the regular price,” he said. “And most importantly, being a social impact company, the planet wins, because we save edible food and it doesn’t end up in the trash.”
More than 100 companies – mostly restaurants and stores – have joined the app, which is already in Edmonton. One of those companies is Neo Juicery.
“Our food waste is basically any juice that hasn’t been sold and left out on its last day,” said Karina Patal, co-founder of Neo Juicery. “People are going to get this surprise bag from the variety of juices we make.”
There is no cost to use the app other than paying for food, which is then charged directly by the customer at the business.
The menus available at Edmonton are “surprise bag” or “takeaway,” which means customers won’t necessarily be able to choose what they receive from each restaurant.
Patal said the idea behind the app has created more opportunities for her business to reduce waste.
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“When we juice, there is always a slight difference in yield at the end of each production,” she said. “Because sometimes the product is a little juicier than other times.
“So there’s 10ml to 50ml of each juice that we end up making more of and we can’t really fill the bottle with that,” Patal said.
“So we’ve now been able to combine that into a cocktail look, and a surprise cocktail every time…this is a product that we’ve been able to offer exclusively in magic bags using Too Good To Go.”
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Edmonton will be the sixth Canadian city where Too Good To Go operates, along with Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec City.
According to the company, it has helped more than 2,500 companies save nearly hundreds of thousands of meals from the trash since its launch in the summer of 2021.
“So far in Canada we have provided more than 400,000 meals,” Kashani said.
“That’s crazy thinking about it. 400,000 meals would have ended up in the trash otherwise.”
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Kashani said he expects Edmonton to see additional restaurants join the app in the coming weeks.
Flashfood, which aims to help customers connect to cost-effective foods that may be close to expiring from grocery stores, is a similar app that’s been operating in the Edmonton area since 2019.
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