M&S is expanding its food waste initiative – which repurposes unsold bakery loaves into frozen garlic bread – to an additional 125 stores this April.
At the end of each day, unsold baguettes – baked in-store daily – are filled with garlic butter, and then sold as frozen garlic bread from £1, with an extended shelf life of 30 days.
Launched in 2020 following a successful trial, the scheme is currently live in 253 stores and will feature in a total of 378 UK stores from next month.
In three years, M&S has sold 2.1m of the re-purposed loaves, with the best-selling store being 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.
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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 twin pack) and a boule (£2.50).
The upmarket retailer’s upcoming Family Matters Index, based on interviews with over 5,000 UK adults, reveals that 7 in 10 adults are making an effort to live more sustainably due to the cost of living crisis. Of those, 85% are prioritising reducing their own food waste.
M&S has recently been crowned the best supermarket for shopping in-store with 77% overall customer satisfaction, new research shows.
“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,” technical director at M&S Food, Andrew Clappen said.
“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.”
Clappen added: “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.”
M&S has pledged to halve food waste by 2030, as well as redistribute 100% of its edible surplus by 2025, as part of its Plan A sustainability roadmap.
Director of collaboration and change at Wrap, Catherine David said it was “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,” she continued.
“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,” David said.