Marks and Spencer (M&S) is expanding its frozen garlic bread food waste initiative to a further 125 stores this April. As of April, frozen garlic bread made from unsold fresh bakery loaves will be available in 378 stores from April.
At the end of each day, unsold baguettes and boules, baked in-store daily, are prepared and filled with garlic butter and sold as frozen garlic bread from UK£1, with an extended shelf life of 30 days.
The scheme is currently live in 253 stores and launched in 2020 following a successful trial. Since the start of the trial, M&S has sold 2.1 million of the re-purposed loaves with the best-selling store M&S Nottingham Giltbrook.
Due to its popularity, the scheme is not only being extended to more stores but two new products will be available as well. Customers will now have a choice of San Francisco Sourdough Garlic Bread (£3) and West Country Cheddar and Red Leicester Garlic Cob (£3) alongside the existing choices of a Garlic baguette (£1 single pack or £2 win pack).
M&S’ upcoming Family Matters Index, based on interviews with over 5000 UK adults, reveals seven in 10 adults are making an effort to live more sustainably due to the cost-of-living crisis. Of those, 85% said they are prioritising reducing their own food waste.
“Our in-store bakers create the freshest, highest quality bread daily for our customers. We believe each loaf is too good to waste and our customers agree. By getting creative we’ve found a way to extend shelf life and create delicious products for our customers – at great value too from £1,” said Andrew Clappen, Technical Director at M&S Food.
“The response has been fantastic and now is the time to roll out to more stores, with more products. We’re determined to keep finding innovative ways to tackle food waste, at source and in-store. As well as creating frozen garlic bread, our 25p ripe banana bags are another great initiative proving popular – we’ve sold over half a million since we started them.”
The UK retailer has pledged to halve food waste by 2030 as well as redistribute 10o% of its edible surplus by 2025, as part of its Plan A sustainability roadmap.
“It’s great to see a simple and effective idea grow in this way. Bread is the second most wasted food item in UK homes with the equivalent of more than one million loaves binned every day,” commented Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP. “As a short shelf-life item, bread can also become surplus at the end of trading so giving a second life to a surplus loaf is an excellent way to reduce waste, make our food go further and feed families.”
As well as expanding its frozen garlic bread scheme, M&S is taking steps to reduce food waste including donating 57 million meals to charities; the 25p banana bag scheme where over 500,000 banana bags have been sold and removing best before dates from over 300 fruit and vegetable products to help tackle household food waste.
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