East of England Co-op rolls out food saving app in drive to eliminate waste

The society has partnered with Too Good To Go which offers ‘magic bags’ of food for £3.30

East of England Co-op has partnered with food saving app Too Good To Go as part of the its effort to reduce edible food waste to zero by 2030.

Following a successful pilot, Too Good To Go is now available in all the society’s food stores, making it the biggest grocery retailer to be on the app in the region. 

Too Good To Go lets customers buy and collect ‘Magic Bags’ of unsold food at a great price so it gets eaten instead of wasted. These are available at the co-op’s stores for £3.30 and contain food worth at least three times that value. Customers don’t know what is in the order until they pick it up, but can expect a generous mix of chilled and ambient products, from meat and fish to cakes and bread.

East of England has been at the forefront of tackling food waste for several years since launching its pioneering Co-op Guide to Dating scheme, where it became the first major retailer to sell food past its best before date for a nominal 10p. Since 2018, it has saved nearly one million products from waste which were sold under the scheme.

Steven Fendley, head of sustainability at the society, said: “Since making our pledge to reduce edible food waste to zero we have looked at a myriad of ways we can keep perfectly edible food from going to waste. Launching on Too Good To Go was a no brainer, helping tackle the issue while giving our customers an excellent opportunity to enjoy delicious food at a great price.

“We have also been delivering other work in this area, including using new intelligent technology in our reduced to clear section, improving how and when we mark down chilled food nearing its ‘use by’ date, giving customers better discounts, earlier in the day.”

Too Good To Go was piloted in 42 East of England stores over 44 days, with more than 4,678 magic bags sold. 

Sophie Trueman, managing director for Too Good To Go, said: “I’m thrilled to be rolling out our partnership across all East of England Co-op stores so our users can rescue even more good food for a great price. Food waste accounts for 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and so by reducing the volume of perfectly good food going to waste together we can take huge strides towards combatting climate change. I’m incredibly excited to see the impact our partnership can have in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

Too Good To Go has over 8 million users in the UK and the app is available from Google Play or Apple App Store.