Sustainability is one of the five pillars of Valora’s corporate strategy; it covers production, sales and the contents of its range of products. In keeping with this strategy, Valora has declared war on food waste and has already achieved initial success through partnerships, for example its cooperation with “Too Good To Go”.
People are increasingly eating on the move, preferably with fresh and sustainable products. Valora is exploiting these trends by expanding its fresh product offering in its own sales outlets. That entails challenges, especially in terms of sustainability. Given its importance to Valora’s corporate strategy, the company has developed its own sustainability programme, which focuses on people, planet and products – or to be more precise, on fair working conditions, measures to protect the environment and a sustainable product range.
One of the biggest sustainability-related challenges facing Valora as a dedicated foodvenience provider is food waste. Analyses have shown that currently about one third of foodstuffs worldwide fail to complete the journey from farm to table. The volume of food that has to be thrown away by food service formats like Valora’s is falling relative to other providers because they produce their own comestibles onsite and can restrict production when necessary. However, in absolute terms it remains a problem. Valora is exploiting the opportunities presented by digitalisation and establishing partnerships to reduce food waste. One of these partners is “Too Good To Go”.
Saving food via app
The organisation has set itself the goal of “enabling everyone to fight against food waste”, according to Managing Director Mette Lykke. “Too Good To Go” has an app that according to Lykke “enables people to contribute to the fight against waste while, at the same time, enjoying good food and supporting their local shops”. It works by customers putting in an order, paying for it via app, and collecting the food bag before closing time. The food bag contain items from the day’s menu and can be put together by the customer on site.
Valora has been a partner of “Too Good To Go” since 2019. Since the start of last year, all the Caffè Spettacolo outlets (in excess of 30) in Switzerland have been on the platform. Offers from BackWerk and all three SuperGuud sales outlets have also been included on the platform since last summer. In mid-January 2020, the Brezelkönig stores in German-speaking Switzerland came on board, joined by their counterparts in French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino in March. As a result, Valora will soon be able to sell food bags at a discount from almost 100 Swiss food service sales outlets.
Some of the BackWerk shops in Germany have also joined. The decision of whether to use the app is, however, left up to the individual franchise partners themselves.
The motivation for cooperating with “Too Good To Go” is simple: although Valora stores bake their own fresh Valora products to avoid supply outstripping demand, there is still some food left over at the end of the day. Customers expect a broad and attractive offering until closing time, that makes it likely that some stores, depending on when they do the most business, will have products left over. The app allows Valora to distribute the products that it can no longer sell the following day while it is still fresh and fit for eating.
Initial indicators based on evaluations by Valora suggest the partnership is making a difference. Take up among consumers is high. Not only does the partnership benefit Valora, it’s also in the interests of “Too Good To Go”. “We are very grateful and proud of the excellent cooperation with Valora. We have saved over 20,000 meals through Caffè Spettacolo alone since we started working with them and that is a great result for us and for the environment”, says Lucie Rein, “Too Good To Go” Country Manager for Switzerland. “We look forward to more of the same in 2020.”
Rein calculates that “Too Good to Go” accounts for only about 3% of the market potential in Switzerland. So she sees considerable scope for development: “We are giving our all to achieve our potential by expanding our number of partners and doing more with our current partners wherever possible.”
Valora also plans to deepen its cooperation with “Too Good To Go”. Valora is currently considering adding its retail formats to the platform to build on its initial successes. A pilot was conducted with an avec store in Zurich Oerlikon during the past few months. The findings of the pilot will be used to decide whether to roll out “Too Good To Go” on a wider basis.
Prevention over damage limitation
Valora has taken an important step in reducing food waste through its partnership with “Too Good to Go”. This year, Valora Retail is planning to reduce prices in Switzerland before closing time to make its ecological footprint smaller still. Rules are currently being established to promote transparency for customers about which products are available for a discount and when. Some of the remaining foodstuffs will be used for biogas.
Photos: Noë Flum | TGTG