Interview with Jamie Crummie, co-founder of Too Good to Go

  • Too Good To Go, founded in 2016, is a free app, allowing one to purchase unsold food from top eateries at the end of service, to prevent it from being thrown away.
  • In 2019, Too Good to Go raised another €6 million (approx. £5.3 million) in funding, with the aim to have 50million users by the end of 2020.

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Who are Too Good to Go and what is your company ethos?


Jamie Crummie: Too Good To Go is a social impact company, working for a planet with no food waste. Our core mission is to inspire and empower everyone to fight food waste and we are building the Movement against food waste to push for wider impact at five levels: Marketplace (our app), Households, Businesses, Schools and Public Affairs.

For us it’s all about raising awareness and providing a tool for everyone to fight food waste together, which is where our app comes in – it’s the world’s leading marketplace for surplus food.


What are the main products that Too Good to Go offers, and how do they differ from other products in the market?


Our app is the world’s largest food waste fighting app. Through the app we connect businesses that have unsold food with consumers who can purchase, collect and enjoy it so that it doesn’t go to waste. Globally we have over 20 million registered users who have saved more than 30 million meals from going to waste. 2.5 million of these users are based in the UK.

Our USP is our Magic Bag concept – a bag containing a selection of the store’s unsold surplus food. By its nature, food waste is unpredictable and so the Magic Bag allows restaurants and retailers the flexibility to adapt the contents to include the left over food on any given day. To put it simply, if we knew what was going to be left over, we would hope that restaurants and retailers would not produce it. So whilst consumers don’t know exactly what they are going to get in their Magic Bag, they will have an idea of what you can generally get from the store – for example you know you will get Japanese food from YO! rather than sausages and mash.

Our users love the fact that they can get something different every time they save a meal from our partners – whether that’s returning to the same outlet time and time again, or trying out new restaurants and retailers that join the app.


Too Good to Go is the world’s leading marketplace for surplus food.


How does Too Good to Go work to alleviate pre-existing problems in the market?


Last year we conducted some research which found that over two thirds of Brits don’t know that food waste contributes to climate change – that’s a lot of people. So raising awareness is the first step – if everyone understands that throwing away food not only is senseless and wastes money but actually harms the planet, we are far more likely to stop doing it.

By engaging with our app and rescuing surplus food, our users are learning about the issue of food waste. Anecdotal feedback from our users has shown that once we have raised awareness of food waste, this filters through to changing behaviour towards food at home as well.

This behaviour change was identified in some research we conducted with Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Here we found that whilst most Dutch users of Too Good To Go are already conscious of not wasting food, some of the focus groups saw changes in attitudes or behaviour as a result of using the app, for example stating to improvise with leftovers or adapting grocery shopping to what they recieve in their Magic Bag or Magic Box.

We’re also proud that our app encourages consumers to shop locally in stores that they might not have done so before. By being on our app our partners benefit from increased brand awareness so we’re not just helping them reduce their food waste, but also increase footfall.

The app is just one way in which we seek to inspire and empower everyone to fight food waste. Our Movement against food waste pushes for wider impact at five levels: Households, Businesses, Schools, Public Affairs, and Marketplace (the app). We’re seeing positive traction across all of these focuses across Europe – from our primary school poetry competition backed by DEFRA in the UK to our campaigns working with the likes of Carrefour and Unilever to tackle the confusing nature of date labelling across Europe.


How have Too Good to Go developed from when they were first founded?


Since the app was first launched in 2016, Too Good To Go has undergone significant and rapid growth. We are now an accredited B Corp, operating in 14 countries in Europe – with a US expansion announced earlier this year – and along with our 41,000 partners and 20 million Waste Warriors, we have saved over 32 million meals globally.


How have Too Good to Go been able to maintain a ‘personal touch’ to their business whilst simultaneously expanding?


Maintaining a personal touch has been important to us as we have grown. Since the beginning of our business we have always had a face-to-face relationship with our partner stores, literally knocking on doors and speaking to the owners about how we can help them to reduce their food waste. And this is something we’re proud to still be doing today.

What helps is that we’re talking about food which is a very personal thing to people – whether a food business who puts a lot of love into what they are making, or a consumer who gets so much enjoyment from a tasty meal.

Now we have a really engaged community of Waste Warriors who share their experiences with us on social media, and we regularly touch base with our partners to update them on the impact that they are having on the planet.

We also celebrate our milestones such as anniversaries with both our partners and Waste Warriors; it’s vital that businesses and consumers alike are part of our journey and the Movement to reduce our food waste mountain.


What is Too Good to Go’s five-year plan?


We are focused on making the biggest impact we can in fighting food waste with an accessible, simple and fun solution.

If there’s anything we’ve learned from the environmental wake up call of the last few years, it’s that the problems we are facing are real. They are not small and we need concrete solutions fast.

Our goal is to see increased impact across all five pillars of our Movement, strengthening our position across Europe and, as of this year, expanding into the US.


What does Too Good to Go do to stay one-step ahead of its competitors in the market?


The Magic Bag concept plays a huge role in encouraging businesses to partner with us. It’s flexibility means that businesses do not have any unnecessary additional admin to use the app and it can easily fit in around day-to-day operations rather than competing with them. We’re scaling up fast and providing a simple and effective way for businesses and consumers to fight food waste together.

What’s important to us is that we have an open dialogue with our customers and partners. Their feedback allows us to keep our finger on the pulse and innovate to ensure that we’re providing the best possible solution to preventing food from going to waste.

And this isn’t the only way that we keep a check on the temperature of our sector. Research into industry issues and consumer behaviour means that we can create campaigns and messaging that we know will resonate with our audiences, both in the B2B and B2C space.

For us, it’s all about making as big an impact on the food waste problem as we can – globally. Which is why we are always looking to strengthen our position as the world’s leading food waste fighting app. This year alone we are launching Too Good To Go in Sweden and the US – markets which we feel we can make a real difference in.

Fighting food waste is in our blood and we’re dedicated to doing everything that we can to reach our goal of a planet with no food waste.


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