// M&S Food to turn surplus baguettes and boules into garlic bread
// The initiative rolls out to 200 stores following successful trial
// New 100% widely recycled packaging introduced for all bakery products
M&S has announced that it will extend its initiative to turn unsold fresh bakery loaves into frozen garlic bread to 200 stores as part of its 2030 goal to halve food waste.
The roll-out follows a successful trial in eight M&S Food stores, whereby any unsold baguettes and boules baked that day are prepared and filled with garlic butter at the end of each day.
The reinvented garlic bread products are then sold as frozen with an extended shelf-life of 30 days.
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M&S said it was also helping customers recycle more, with the garlic bread packaging now 100 per cent widely recycled.
The new packaging, made from translucent paper or paper with a small plastic window, is now being used for every item in M&S’s in-store bakery as part of its goal to make all of its packaging widely recycled by 2022.
“Our customers love the freshness and quality of our in-store bakery products, but their short shelf-life means it can be a challenging area for waste,” M&S Food technology director Paul Willgoss said.
“Whilst we’ve made great progress in better predicting daily bakery demand and accelerating our charity redistribution, we’ve been looking at how we can innovate our processes to ensure we continually prevent waste.
“By turning leftover loaves into frozen garlic bread, we’re not only creating delicious new products for family mealtimes, but we’re also helping to Spark Change together with our customers to significantly reduce waste.
“What’s more, they can now be confident that the packaging they take home from our bakeries will be recycled and given a new purpose too.”
Throughout the trial period, M&S tested the entire process from behind the scenes operations to customer engagement.
Following a positive response from the trial, M&S said it would now feature shelf-edge signage to engage customers on the food waste reduction concept across all 200 stores.
M&S also has a partnership with Neighbourly, whereby over 580 of M&S’s stores support 1500 community causes across the UK with surplus food.
Since 2015, the retailer has donated the equivalent of over 16 million meals to support local causes.
During the Covid crisis, M&S accelerated the roll-out of a new app that makes it even easier for stores to donate surplus food.