Caboodle Press Release v1a

Source: Co-op

Caboodle is currently being trialled in more than 100 Co-op food stores

A new food redistribution platform created by Co-op and Microsoft is being rolled out across the convenience retailer’s estate of over 2,500 stores.

Called Caboodle, it is already being trialled in 100 Co-op stores and is also to be made available to other retailers.  

The online platform enables supermarkets, cafés and restaurants to connect with community groups and volunteers to redistribute leftover food where it is needed, to food banks, family support networks, youth groups and schools.

It allows food businesses to share their surplus every day using live notifications to alert charities and community groups when slots are available for pick up.

The groups can then book collection slots and access to volunteers through a digital noticeboard.

It is being trialled in Co-op stores in Northern Ireland, Milton Keynes and London, and is set to go live next month in another 2,500 branches. 

Community groups can register now to be notified of when Caboodle arrives in their area.

The initiative is similar to Neighbourly, another online platform linking businesses to community groups to get surplus stock to local good causes. 

“The amount of good-quality surplus food that’s not currently being redistributed is astounding,” said Co-op interim CEO Shirine Khoury-Haq.

“The more organisations use Caboodle the simpler and more effective it will be for volunteers and community groups to gain access to good food.” 

Microsoft UK CEO Clare Barclay said: “One of the best things about Caboodle is not just the impact it will have, but also that it came from a chance conversation between a Microsoft employee and a Co-op store manager about how to stop good food going to waste. Low code development using the Microsoft Power Platform means anyone can turn great ideas into real solutions.”

Wrap food lead Estelle Herszenhorn said: “Surplus food redistribution has been a success story over recent years - 320,000 tonnes of food was saved from going to waste between 2015 and 2020 worth £1bn, providing the equivalent of 220 million meals. But much more good food is still going to waste that could feed people.

“Innovations like Caboodle that can help to overcome common barriers and ease redistribution of surplus food are really exciting and have the potential to make serious inroads into the 200,000 tonnes that Wrap estimates could still be redistributed.”