Iceland’s loan scheme aimed to support shoppers deal with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, has received around 50,000 applications.
The Iceland Food Club, allows customers to apply for “affordable micro loans” between £25 and £100 to pay for groceries at the frozen food retailer.
Shoppers are able to pay back £10 per week under the scheme, which Iceland Foods’ managing director Richard Walker said was intended to deal food insecurity.
In a statement on social media, Walker said: “The ‘Iceland Food Club’ is also progressing well since its launch – with over 50,000 applications for interest-free, affordable micro loans.
“What strikes me most is just how much a scheme like this is clearly needed. With our partner Fair for You CIC we’re working to ensure the roll out is as smooth as possible.”
Speaking exclusively to Grocery Gazette, Walker said this scheme is “intended to support customers through the cost of living crisis, helping families facing food insecurity to spread the cost of food, providing a crucial lifeline for many.”
He said: “No initiative made by a business can completely eradicate food poverty , but there is a pressing need for support like this and the approach of short-term affordable lending is strongly endorsed by existing customers and our pilot findings.”
The news comes as the CEO of Fair for You, Simon Dukes, exclusively told Grocery Gazette, the scheme is “not a silver bullet” for families battling food poverty.
“This loan is for those who can’t get credit anywhere else, who just need that extra bit of money to smooth over the holiday period,” he said.
This comes as frozen food retailer Iceland has announced its debt rating has downgraded by Moody’s after the grocer fell to a pre-tax loss last year.
According to new filings on Companies House, Iceland revealed a pre-tax loss of £4.1 million for the year ended 25 March.