The CLIC™ Chronicles: tackling food waste with Too Good To Go

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The CLIC™ Chronicles: tackling food waste with Too Good To Go

Interview with Alina Swirski, Country Manager at Too Good To Go Switzerland


What’s your mission at Too Good To Go?

Every year, more than one third of all food produced in the world goes to waste, and this accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Too Good To Go’s journey started in Denmark in 2016 with the strong belief that this is unacceptable and that food is simply too good to go to waste.

Every year, more than one third of all food produced in the world goes to waste, and this accounts for 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions

With our movement, we aim to inspire and empower everyone to fight food waste. Our application connects consumers with bakeries, restaurants, hotels, supermarkets and other businesses so that their surplus food can be consumed instead of wasted. We’re now present in 17 countries, including Switzerland, and our app is the world’s largest B2C marketplace for surplus food. It’s a simple, “win-win-win” solution. First, our partners can effectively reduce the volume of food waste while reaching new customers and recovering sunk costs; second, our users get delicious products at a great price and get to discover new stores nearby; and finally the planet’s resources are used and valued.

Surplus food is sold on the app for one third of the price and comes in so-called “Magic bags”, since consumers aren’t aware of what’s inside. This is because food waste cannot be planned in advance. With every Magic Bag saved on the app, we’re getting one step closer to our vision of a planet with no food waste!

Discover more on key tactics to fight food waste here


Why is food waste such a big issue?

Food loss and food waste are putting the planet under enormous strain and represent one of our biggest environmental challenges. When we waste food, we don’t just waste the final product but all the resources needed for its production, such as land, water, fertiliser, labour, fuel, electricity and other resources. In addition, entire forests are cleared to grow food that may never be eaten. Furthermore, scientists have discovered that food releases harmful greenhouse gases when it’s disposed of unsustainably. Fighting food waste is thus a priority to combat climate change!

When we waste food, we don’t just waste the final product but all the resources needed for its production, such as land, water, fertiliser, labour, fuel, electricity and other resources

It’s been more than 3 years since you've been established in Switzerland. How much food has been saved? How do you measure your impact?

Since our launch in Switzerland in June 2018 we’ve been developing very positively. We had over 650,000 registered users and 1,800 partners on the app at the end of 2019, and 780,000 meals had already been saved back then. In 2020, it jumped to 1,1 million users (+70%) and 3,300 partners (+80%) and the number of meals saved rose to over 2,1 million (+170%). Recently, we’ve saved over 4 million meals in Switzerland. I’m very proud of our more than 1,5 million users and over 5,200 partners that are currently contributing to reduce food waste with us!

Beside the number of users, partners and Magic bags saved on the app, we measure our impact with the amount of CO2e saved. On average, one Magic Bag contains 1 kilogram of food, which is equivalent to 2.5 kilograms of CO2e saved. We also created a calculator based on scientific data to translate the CO2e savings of saved meals into concrete examples, such as the number of flights around the world, phone battery recharges, hot showers… For example, we’ve already saved 25’000 meals with our partner Le Snack which is the C02 equivalent of more than 11 million smartphone charges or 12 around the world flights.

On average, one Magic Bag contains 1 kilogram of food, which is equivalent to 2.5 kilograms of CO2e saved

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In 2019, you introduced the label “Look, Smell, Taste”. Why is this important? Did you see any changes in consumer habits?

In Europe, expiry dates cause 10% of all food waste because many consumers aren’t aware of the difference between the various expiry dates. The confusion between “use by” and “best before” dates plays an important role in the amount of food that is thrown away in households. In fact, “best before” dates are about quality, and not safety. This is why they’re often good after this date.

In Europe, expiry dates cause 10% of all food waste because many consumers aren’t aware of the difference between the various expiry dates

In order to make this clearer and prevent good food from being wasted, Too Good To Go launched the “Look, Smell, Taste” initiative (known as "Souvent bon après" in French and “Oft länger gut” in German) for products with “best before” dates in collaboration with various producers. The initiative has been successfully launched in various countries across Europe, including Switzerland in October 2019. Basically, it encourages consumers to use their senses by observing, smelling and tasting a product when the “best before” date has expired instead of throwing it away immediately.


You’re a B Corp! Why did you pursue this sustainable certification?

As a social impact company, we feel proud to be part of a community that wants to use its business as a force for good! B Corp is a powerful way to demonstrate that we care about the effect we have on the wider world and that we have sustainability at our core.

…the world demands more sustainable businesses and when we say we believe in being a sustainable company, we want to be held accountable! B Corp helps us with that

Today, the world demands more sustainable businesses and when we say we believe in being a sustainable company, we want to be held accountable! B Corp helps us with that. We can only encourage other companies to embrace the opportunity for this in-depth look at their business. The support we get from the B Corp team on how to optimise is extremely valuable!    

Read more from our Head of Corporate Sustainability, Ebba Lepage, on becoming a B Corp


What’s your next step? Where can we expect to see Too Good To Go in 5 years?

Our goal is to have an impact whilst ensuring a healthy and sustainable growth of the company. We know we still have a long way to go to reduce food waste on a global level. In Switzerland, we want to further develop our date labelling initiative as well as our Swiss community of Waste Warrior Brands (WAW Brands). It is a coalition of companies committed to fighting food waste with us by working on three fronts: internal engagement, external communications and concrete measures. Also, we want to work more closely with other food associations and food banks.

Read how eating insects can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight food waste here


What top tips do you have for clients and consumers to reduce their food waste? 

As a first tip, it is obviously important to plan your shopping well and not buy too much - whether you are inviting your loved ones at home or if you are invited out. Then, our advice is to be ready to share your leftovers with your guests if you know that it will be impossible for you to freeze, reuse or eat them all. Finally, it’s simply being creative. There are infinite ways to create new recipes and delicious meals out of leftovers and if you need inspiration, you can find some delicious recipes in our new zero waste cookbook called “REMIX” which can be downloaded on our website (here in French, here in German and here on our international website in English).

…our advice is to be ready to share your leftovers with your guests if you know that it will be impossible for you to freeze, reuse or eat them all

Wichtige Hinweise.

Die vorliegende Marketingmitteilung wurde von der Bank Lombard Odier & Co AG oder einer Geschäftseinheit der Gruppe (nachstehend “Lombard Odier”) herausgegeben. Sie ist weder für die Abgabe, Veröffentlichung oder Verwendung in Rechtsordnungen bestimmt, in denen eine solche Abgabe, Veröffentlichung oder Verwendung rechtswidrig wäre, noch richtet sie sich an Personen oder Rechtsstrukturen, an die eine entsprechende Abgabe rechtswidrig wäre.

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