M&S uses its loaf to cut food waste

MARKS & SPENCER is coming up with novel ways to reduce food waste in its stores across the country.

One idea, to reduce bread waste, sees unsold baguettes and boules, baked in store daily, filled with garlic butter and sold as frozen garlic bread priced from £1.

The scheme has been running in 253 stores and is being expanded to an additional 125 outlets this April.

Since its launch in 2020 2.1 million of the re-purposed loaves have been sold, and the range is being extended to include San Francisco Sourdough Garlic Bread (£3) and West Country Cheddar and Red Leicester Garlic Cob.

M&S’s upcoming Family Matters Index, based on interviews with more than 5,000 UK adults, reveals that seven in 10 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 pledged to halve food waste by 2030, and redistribute 100% of its edible surplus by 2025, as part of its
Plan A sustainability roadmap.

Catherine David, director of Collaboration and Change at the Waste & Resources Action Programme charity, said: “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. 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, the retailer is taking several steps to reduce food waste including:

Partnering with Neighbourly: Donating 57million meals to charities by partnering with Neighbourly since 2015, where store teams work closely with their local communities to ensure edible food sur-plus is redistributed.

25p Banana bag scheme: Since launching in 2021, more than 500,000 banana bags have been sold, offering a minimum of three ready to eat bananas along with two recipes.

Best before dates: Last year, M&S removed best before dates from more than 300 fruit and vegetable products to help tackle household food waste.

Sparking Change tips and inspiration: Helping customers to reduce food waste with Love your leftovers recipes, and tips on batch cooking and storing food to make it last longer.

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