Retailers

UNFI Deepens Its Commitment to Reducing Food Waste

Expansion of partnership with Too Good To Go will let customers in more cities buy surplus food at steep discounts
grocery bag
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Grocery wholesaler UNFI is expanding its partnership with food-waste-reduction app Too Good To Go, which lets customers purchase "surprise bags" of surplus food or items nearing their best-by date at significant discounts.

When retailers partnering with Too Good To Go have soon-to-expire or extra food, they bag up assortments of selected items—products such as fresh produce, dairy items, baked goods or sushi. Too Good To Go users reserve their "surprise bags" on the Too Good To Go mobile app and then pick up their food at the store during a specified time. For retailers, it's an opportunity to recover the cost of food that would otherwise go to waste. For consumers, it's a chance to realize big savings on groceries at a time when inflation tops grocery shoppers' concerns.

Too Good To Go is currently available through UNFI retailers in cities such as New York City, Chicago, San Francisco and Portland, Ore.; UNFI said it plans to add Too Good To Go in more (unspecified) markets in 2022. 

"We embrace the opportunity to use our expertise, influence and scale to be a force for positive change within the food system, and we strive to help retailers implement simple solutions that make a real, lasting impact," UNFI Chief Growth Officer Matt Whitney said in a statement. 

Providence, R.I.-based UNFI piloted Too Good To Go in the company's Atlantic region; the company says the number of its retail customers offering the program nearly doubled after the first year. At Green Zebra Grocery in Portland, Ore., surprise bags offer $15 worth of food for $4.99, according to UNFI's news release.

UNFI, which serves about 30,000 independent grocers, set a goal in 2020 of reducing food waste in its distribution centers by 50% by 2025. 

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