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Too Good To Go sets expansion sights on every Canadian Tim Hortons

App offers discounted food for purchase as it nears end of shelf life, diverting it from the waste bin

An assortment of Tim Hortons' baked goods nearing the end of shelf life are behind sold at a third of their original value by Too Good To Go. (Courtesy Too Good To Go)

Tim Hortons is expanding its partnership with an app that sells food at a discount before it goes to waste; and Too Good To Go hopes to expand the service in every Canadian location.

A $15 mystery bag of baked goods such as Timbits, doughnuts, muffins and cookies, which have passed their ideal shelf life, is sold for $4.99 by Too Good To Go. The sweet value is intended to take a bite out of the mountain of perfectly edible food that is trashed daily.

“What we want to help (Tim Hortons) and every other partner to do is ensure that food waste doesn’t go to the bin,” Sarah Soteroff, the head of public relations for Too Good To Go North America, said in an interview with Sustainable Biz Canada.

Too Good To Go, a Danish company that has operated in Canada for the past three years, has partnered with Tim Hortons since October 2023. Now, it connects to over 2,000 Tim Hortons restaurants, and will be offering the service to major cities in Atlantic Canada starting this week.

In addition to turning doughnuts into dollars, the service promotes sustainability by directing food away from landfills, where it can decompose into greenhouse gases.

Deals for surplus food

The Too Good To Go app partners with restaurants, convenience stores, independent businesses, grocers such as Metro and Longo’s, universities and hundreds of 7-Eleven locations to take food that is on the verge of being thrown away and sell it at a discount. Stores can put discounted food on the app, and users get a preview of what they can buy and the savings offered.

Customers then have a two-hour window to pick up the food.

Other than challenging a food waste problem in Canada that measures in the tens of millions of tonnes, according to charity Second Harvest, and generates methane in landfills, it also helps businesses recoup additional value.

“We help the businesses at every level recapture some of that surplus. So if they have a super-busy day, then they don’t have to put anything on the app. If they have a super-slow day they may want to add additional bags,” Soteroff said.

Since the Copenhagen-based company started servicing Canada, it has presence in every province and has saved over four million meals from landfills to date, Soteroff said. Since partnering with Tim Hortons, Too Good To Go has sold approximately 340,000 meals and over one million items, she added.

Each bagged meal saves 2.7 kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions, meaning Too Good To Go has prevented over 11,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada, Soteroff said. It also saved 3.4 billion litres of water from going to waste.

Growing the Tim Hortons partnership

Too Good To Go is offered in over half of Tim Hortons’ Canadian locations, and is being rolled out in St. John's, Halifax, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Moncton and Saint John this week.

The app will eventually be available for every Tim Hortons location, Soteroff said.

"One of the goals in our Tims For Good platform is to reduce food waste as much as possible and we're excited by the progress and learnings we've developed through working with Too Good To Go so far and we're looking forward to expanding to more Tims restaurants soon," Paul Yang, Tim Hortons’ senior director of sustainability, procurement and packaging, said in a release.

According to Soteroff, Too Good To Go plans to continue its expansion across Canada and is keen to partner with more businesses.

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