Food sharing app OLIO launches in Newcastle

A ‘POT luck’ picnic is being held in Newcastle tomorrow to coincide with the launch of a free food sharing app in the city which aims to cut down the amount of edibles that are thrown away.

OLIO connects people with each other and with local independent shops so surplus food doesn’t go to waste – from its use-by date from shops, cafes and markets; spare vegetables from the allotment; cakes from an amateur bakers or groceries from household fridges when people go on holiday or move home.

To access the app, users simply snap a picture of their items and add them to OLIO. Neighbours then receive customised alerts and can request anything that takes their fancy and arrange pick-up from home, the store, an OLIO Drop Box, or another agreed location.

The inspiration for the app came from the early experiences of co-founders Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One, pictured above, entrepreneurs raised in rural families witnessing the scandal of food waste close up.

To mark the launch, OLIO is hosting a Pot Luck Picnic tomorrow, Saturday July 9 from 2pm to 4pm at Leazes Park, Newcastle . OLIO will also have a presence at Eco Fest on  July 10.

Saasha said Newcastle was a community already committed to reducing food waste with local bodies creating a healthier food culture in the city, such as Food Newcastle.

“The OLIO team can’t wait to bring the service to a city with the need for food waste reduction already recognised, she said. “Newcastle has been one of our most active cities in terms of food sharing happening organically. The city has a brilliant community of people who are passionate about reducing food waste and the contribution that can be made at a local level.”


Since launching in December 2015, OLIO has been used over 250,000 times and featured twice by Apple as ‘Best new app’ in the App Store, it was also the first retail technology start-up Sainsbury’s partnered with on their ‘Waste Less, Save More’ initiative.

Co-founders of OLIO Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One PHOTO CREDIT ANNABEL STAFF

Co-founders of OLIO Tessa Cook and Saasha Celestial-One PHOTO CREDIT ANNABEL STAFF

Globally, a third of all food produced is wasted, and in the UK, households – which are responsible for half of all food waste – collectively bin over £12.5bn of edible food per year, at a cost of £700 to the average family.

Rob Noyes, Environment and Ethics Officer from the Newcastle University Students’ Union says the new service will complement a number of sustainability projects already happening in Newcastle.

“When so many go hungry both globally and locally – continuing to waste food on the scale we do is unacceptable. But it is easily done. Now, it can be easily prevented. By clicking a button we can revolutionise the way we think about food. It’s exciting to see how much interest there is in Newcastle for OLIO.”

“I’ve used OLIO to both give away surplus food and collect it from others. In all cases the people I’ve encountered have been friendly and are in it for the community aspect of it, not just to get rid of stuff they don’t need. I think OLIO is a great way to connect people who would otherwise not have been able to help each other”, added Daniel Romani of The Magic Hat Cafe.


To attend the Pot Luck Picnic please register on Facebook here