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Food waste app strikes deal to enter Canadian university

A food waste app called Too Good to Go that recently launched in Canada is expanding its surplus...

Food waste app Too Good to Go is bringing its food surplus service to Quebec City and Calgary. (Courtesy, Too Good to Go/Instagram)

A food waste app called Too Good to Go that recently launched in Canada is expanding its surplus food network through a partnership with Sodexo Canada to include the University of Laval in Quebec City.

Already present in Toronto, Vancouver and Montréal working in the food and hospitality sectors, Too Good to Go also plans to expand into Calgary next month, Sarah Soteroff, PR manager for the app, told

“We know that university students tend to lean a little bit more (toward the environmental side) and they are interested in ensuring that the planet is saved, so they’re a good audience for our message to promote reducing food waste,” she said.

“We know that 58 per cent of all food in Canada goes to waste, and food waste globally accounts for 10 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions, so thinking about how we save the climate, how we save the environment — this was the fastest, easiest way to do that.”

Users of the Too Good to Go app can buy surplus food from bakeries, restaurants, hotels and grocery stores for a third of the market cost. Food providers can list their daily surplus food on the app as a ‘Surprise Bag,’ and consumers can buy the food from the stores at a preferred time and location.

The Sodexo Canada partnership

Sodexo is a major international company which provides catering and facilities management services to 100 million consumers daily in 56 countries. It’s Canadian division is based in Burlington, Ont.

Through this new association with Too Good to Go, student users will access cheaper food on campus and also reduce food waste.

While it already works with several universities in Europe, the partnership with Sodexo Canada is the first in this sector in Canada.

If the partnership is successful, Too Good to Go hopes to expand its reach to new customers at other Canadian universities and institutions through deals with Sodexo Canada and other food-service companies.

With the expansion planned in Calgary next month, Soteroff said the partnership could lead the company to future growth in other Canadian markets.

The Too Good to Go platform

Too Good to Go’s new partnerships in Quebec City also include several restaurants — Borderon et Fils, Maison Smith, Topla, and Nihon Sushi. The company will also work with Moisson Quebec, a food aid organization that redistributes surplus food.

“Moisson Québec works every day to recover food surpluses to redistribute them in the community. In addition to avoiding waste, we contribute to reducing food insecurity for people in need. It is, therefore, natural for us to collaborate with Too Good To Go,” said Élaine Côté, executive director at Moisson Quebec. “This organization encourages the revalorization of food by giving concrete means to retailers and individuals to participate, and thus reduce their ecological footprint.”

Developed in Denmark in 2016, Too Good to Go has more than 140,000 partners worldwide, and associations with recognized Canadian brands such as Eataly, Fresh City Farms, Summerhill Market, Pusateri’s, and JJ Bean Coffee Roasters.

At a time when an estimated 35.5 million tonnes of food produced in Canada is lost or wasted each year, food apps like Too Good to Go are stepping up to meet the challenge.

“Canada has enough food for every person in the country to eat for five months, and the average Canadian family wastes $1,776 of food per year, so we’re thinking about things like this as inflation starts to go up,” Soteroff said. “As food prices go up and families think, ‘what do I cut costs?’ Well, they’re right at your home.

“The amount it costs to produce that food and then the amount that ends up going to waste, that is still perfectly edible, is astronomical.”

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