French sell-by food app cuts costs

You can use free smartphone app Too Good To Go to save money on your shopping bill and fight food waste.

25 September 2019
By Connexion journalist

It connects consumers with shops and restaurants that have unsold food they would throw away if it was not bought by someone signed up to Too Good To Go.

Food is sold for a third of the original retail price.

Products include bread, croissants and cakes from a bakery that bakes fresh every day. Restaurants which have not sold everything, and supermarkets and other food shops with products near to the sell-by date also take part.

Stéphanie Moy, spokeswoman for the app in France, said the goods you get are always a surprise because it depends what is left over on the day, but they are always still edible.

She said: “You may want to eat the food that day, or you can freeze it.

We rely on people using common sense.

“Before obligatory sell-by dates were introduced in 1984, consumers knew when it was best not to eat something. A sell-by date does not mean a yoghurt has gone off.”

The app uses geolocation to tell consumers offers are available nearby and at what price.

A portion of each purchase goes to the company.

You order your bag via the app, and are told whether there is one available for you that you can go and pick up from the shop or restaurant. You have to be quick, as they sell out rapidly.

The app was created by a Frenchwoman, Lucie Basch (pictured left), who began her career as a food scientist in the UK.

She was appalled to find how much waste was involved in creating products and she left to set up her app, aged 25.

That was three years ago.

It has now launched in 12 countries, including France, Denmark, UK, and Norway.

Too Good To Go claims to have saved 19million meals from the bin, including eight million in France alone.

A total of 10,000 shops and restaurants have signed up in France and 4.5million people have downloaded the app.

Ms Moy said: “We work with small artisan food producers and chains like Biocoop, Carrefour and Monoprix. It is a win, win.”

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