Source: East of England Co-op

During its pilot with 44 stores, it saved 4,678 ‘magic bags’ from being thrown away

The East of England Co-op has become the latest society to join forces with Too Good To Go.

The partnership means its 230-strong estate now forms part of the scheme that aims to stop surplus stock from going to waste, within local communities across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.

It claims to be the biggest grocery retailer on board the anti-food waste app in the region.

The Too Good To Go app lets users search for stores taking part in the scheme that have unsold produce. They then purchase a ‘magic bag’ of food at risk of going to waste and collect it at an allotted time. 

It also guarantees the bags of surplus stock contain at least three times the value of food paid. East of England’s bags are priced at £3.30, and contain a mix of chilled and ambient products, from meat and fish to cakes and bread.

During its pilot with 44 stores, which kicked off in March, it saved 4,678 ‘magic bags’ from being thrown away.

“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,” said Too Good To Go UK MD Sophie Trueman.

”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.”

The tie-up with Too Good To Go forms part of the East of England Co-op’s ambition to reduce edible food waste to zero by 2030. It has already deployed a scheme that sees food sold past its best before date for 10p. Since 2018, it has saved nearly one million products from waste, which were sold under the scheme.

East of England Co-op head of sustainability Steven Fendley 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.”