Food In Canada

F&B manufacturers join forces with Too Good To Go to reduce food waste

By Ojasvini Parashar   

Business Operations Food Trends Packaging Editor pick food waste Look-Smell-Taste Too Good To Go

Canada is the 14th country to join this initiative

To reduce food waste, Too Good To Go recently launched the Look-Smell-Taste initiative, which encourages consumers to trust their senses—look at the food’s appearance, smell its aroma, and taste it—before discarding it based solely on the best before date.

Andrea Li, Too Good To Go Canada’s country director ©Too Good To Go

Andrea Li, country director, Too Good To Go Canada, said that many products remain perfectly edible beyond their best before dates, provided they are unopened and stored correctly. A fact seconded by Dr. Sylvain Charlebois, senior director at Dalhousie University’s Agri-food Analytics Lab. He said that the best before date does not imply ‘bad after’ that date.

“You look and see if there’s anything funky about it. You smell it and see if it smells normal. If it passes both those tests, then we’re encouraging people to just do a quick taste test. And if it still tastes fine then maybe it’s not as crunchy, or maybe it’s not as flavourful, but it’s definitely still good to eat,” Li said.

Research by Too Good To Go and Leger shows 92 per cent of Canadians check the date on food items before consuming them, and 40 per cent discard food past its best before date at least once a week. However, 61 per cent of Canadians expressed a willingness to switch brands if they knew another brand was more committed to reducing food waste.


Brands participating in Too Good To Go initiative ©Too Good To Go

To encourage a culture of food waste and loss prevention, Too Good to Go partnered with F&B manufacturers and retailers across Canada, including Lactalis (Cracker Barrel), Dr. Oetker (Ristorante, Shirriff), the Bel Group, Greenhouse, Righteous Gelato. This collaboration aims to incorporate the Look-Smell-Taste label on products, suggesting to consumers the food may still be of high quality even after its best before date.

Greenhouse beverage with Look-Smell-Taste logo ©Too Good To Go

“We place the Look-Smell-Taste label next to the best before date to remind people that a best before date is really about food quality and peak freshness versus anything else,” Li said.

James Boettcher, founder of Righteous Gelato ©Righteous Gelato

Righteous Gelato, a B Corp-certified dairy manufacturer, has added the Look-Smell-Taste label to its website. James Boettcher, company founder, said, “In theory, ice cream never goes bad because it’s frozen. I just love the ability for us to share this with others (through the logo). It also touches on our B Corp impact.”

Anthony Green, co-founder of Greenhouse © Greenhouse

Anthony Green, co-founder of beverage company Greenhouse, said their products often extend beyond the inherent shelf life so they loved the idea and integrated the initiative’s logo into their new products.

“As a B Corp, we’re constantly taking stock of all the different ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment. (This initiative) is a perfect alignment with our ambitions around reducing the overall impact that our company makes on the planet,” Green added.

According to the National Zero Waste Council’s research, also an ambassador of the campaign, the amount of household food waste in Canada is concerning. Vegetables top the list at 30 per cent, followed by fruit at 15 per cent, leftovers at 13 per cent, bread and bakery items at nine per cent and dairy and eggs at seven per cent.

This waste amounts to 130,000 heads of lettuce, 1.3 million tomatoes, 2.6 million potatoes, 650,000 loaves of bread, 1.3 million apples, 640,000 bananas, 1 million cups of milk and 470,000 eggs.

Too Good to Go started this initiative in 2019 in Denmark. Canada is the 14th country where this campaign has been launched. Since 2019, over 500 brands in 13 European countries have agreed to print the label on over six billion packs of products annually.

Sarah Soteroff, senior PR manager at Too Good To Go, invites other manufacturers to join the initiative.

“Joining the initiative is simple and free of charge. Once a business has decided on the specific products that they wish to apply the ‘Look-Smell-Taste’ label on, Too Good To Go assists them with the design and implementation of the label on their artwork,” she explained.

“We’re all in this together. Fighting food waste is something that we all can do. We encourage everyone who has the best for it to join us,” Li added.

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