2022 IEKTopics
2022 IEKTopics|OLIO Sharing Surplus Food And Building A Trusting Community Economy

Employing food-sharing solutions to match expiring foods with people who need it.

The OLIO App offers a fast and precise excess food sharing solution which effectively reduces food waste in communities. Surplus food from households and businesses is matched with people who need them in a simple and timely manner. With this service, businesses no longer need to throw out expiring foods and their participation in the foodsharing solution has positive effects on their brands. And since the public is spending more time at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they become more reliant on their communities, and sharing daily life resources is a very good icebreaker.

What makes the OLIO app different than others is that the service has a social aspect in addition to its food-sharing function. Users become “neighbors who know each other” instead of staying strangers and thus will be more willing to trust the excess food sharing service. OLIO also recruits Food Waste Heroes who are volunteers that assist in picking up and distributing the food and expanding the app’s user base. The service promotes the idea that proper handling of surplus food can reduce carbon emissions and help the environment. The competitive edge of the OLIO app is that it creates a model that benefits food producers, consumers, and business operators by sharing excess foods and building a trusting community system. However, more time is required for educating consumers so that we can increase the social acceptance of surplus food economy in communities and further advance the development of such concepts.


Case study company introduction

Established in 2015, OLIO is a UK startup which aims to reduce food waste.

The company launched a surplus food sharing app to connect parties that haveexcess food with people who need or would like to enjoy the food.  Available in 59 countries, this app is used by 3.6 million users and has shared over 17 million portions of food. This service which benefits society has piqued the interest of investors and raised USD 6 million in A-round financing in 2018 and USD 43 million in B-round financing in 2021.

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