Too Good To Go Launching in Raleigh to Reduce Food Waste

Surplus food marketplace Too Good To Go launching in Raleigh

Heads up: This isn’t too good to be true (!). Combating the ever-rising issue of food waste and cost of quality food is Too Good To Go, a surplus food marketplace launching in Raleigh and Durham June 5. 

Operating on a win-win-win business model (“for people, profit and the planet”), the certified B Corp social impact company connects consumers with food from restaurants that would otherwise be thrown away, in turn helping businesses unlock revenue from their surplus. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

According to Too Good To Go Senior PR Manager Sarah Soteroff, upward of 40% of made food goes to waste in America, with the country’s annual food waste contributing to about 10% of carbon emissions. On top of the environmental impacts, it tightens costs for businesses and consumers, wasting about $2,000 a year per person. 

The platform’s goal is to mitigate those detrimental-to-the-Earth issues—NTM selling food items at around a third of the retail cost. Since its founding in 2016, Too Good To Go has saved 300+ million meals from going to waste, and that footprint is expanding with its Raleigh/Durham launch. 

Too Good To Go

Consumers receive that surplus in the form of surprise bags, which vary daily but can include dairy, baked goods, produce, prepared meals and packaged goods. “It’s harder for food-selling businesses in tight margins to make money,” says Soteroff, “so if there’s a way for them to regain some revenue by selling this discounted food, it’s a huge bonus. We get that food into the hands of people who want it without it going to waste.”

Too Good To Go already boasts 40 to 50 partners in the area and has saved ~2,000 meals from waste. Local businesses you may recognize on the app include Little Barb’s Bakery, Tikka Taco, Tepuy Donuts and Brecotea Bakery & Cafe, to name but a few.

For her part, partnering with Too Good to Go was an easy choice for Little Barb’s owner Barb Nigro, who says the marketplace’s goals aligned with the bakery’s existing sustainable initiatives—think “low waste eats” bags and baking in small batches to reduce waste.  

“We first focus on not having a ton of surplus for bags, but if we do, it’s great to have Too Good To Go’s help,” explains Nigro. Little Barb’s bags aren’t a constant, but they normally feature bready items like scones or cheddar bacon biscuits, and treats not up to the bakery’s normal standards, which again helps recover loss.

Tepuy Donuts owner Alejandro Contreras also says Too Good To Go has been helpful in reducing waste. “People have been very responsive to it, it’s been working,” he says. “It’s been a win-win for everyone.” 

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.