M&S TURNS SURPLUS BAGUETTES INTO GARLIC BREAD
M&S is creating frozen garlic bread—a firm family favourite—from unsold bakery products as part of its aim to halve food waste
- Latest food waste initiative rolls out to 200 stores following successful trial
- M&S is creating frozen garlic bread—a firm family favourite—from unsold bakery products as part of its aim to halve food waste
- New 100% widely recycled packaging introduced for all bakery products
M&S Food is extending 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 stores, with any unsold baguettes and boules—which are baked fresh daily—being prepared and filled with garlic butter at the end of each day.
The delicious reinvented garlic bread products are then sold as frozen with an extended shelf-life of 30 days—priced at £1 for a garlic baguette or £1.80 for a twin pack, and £2 for the garlic boule.
M&S is also helping customers to recycle more, with the garlic bread packaging now 100% widely recycled. The new packaging, which is 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.
Paul Willgoss, M&S Food Director of Technology, commented:
“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. 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.”
David Moon, Head of Business Collaboration at WRAP, said:
“Bread is the second most wasted food item in the home, with around one million loaves thrown away every day. As a short shelf-life item, bread can also become surplus at the end of trading. This initiative from M&S is a simple solution to a real problem that turns a surplus item into a brand-new product to be enjoyed anew, and stops food being wasted. We welcome the largescale introduction by M&S, a signatory to Courtauld 2025, and the clear messaging the retailer is giving to shoppers that every effort is being made to avoid food going to waste. Freezing bread in the home is an excellent way to add new life to loaves.”
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 is featuring shelf-edge signage to engage customers on the food waste reduction concept across all 200 stores.
Through its food redistribution scheme in partnership with Neighbourly, over 580 of M&S’s stores support 1,500 community causes across the UK with surplus food. Since 2015, the retailer has donated the equivalent of over 16m meals to support local causes.
During the Covid crisis, M&S accelerated the roll-out of a new app, which makes it even easier for stores to donate surplus food. The introduction of the app has helped M&S to double its redistribution rates in some stores and increase food donations overall by 160% since 2018.
The new initiatives form part of M&S’s wider in-store bakery relaunch, with eight new products—such as a banana bread and almond muffin—and eight recipe upgrades for even better quality and flavour.
For more information on M&S’s approach to food waste and plastic reduction, please visit: https://corporate.marksandspencer.com/sustainability/quick-reads
For further information:
Notes to Editors
The stores selling the garlic bread are:
ABBEY CENTRE BELFAST
ARGYLE ST GLASGOW
ARNISON CENTRE DURHAM
AYLESBURY BROADFIELDS SF
BISHOPBRIGGS GLASGOW SF
BURY ST EDMUNDS
CHALFONT ST PETER SF
COWLEY RD OXFORD SF
CRESCENT LINK SF
CROUCH END SF
DOVER ST JAMES
FOUNTAINS RP TUNBRIDGE WELLS
GAPTON HALL SF GREAT YARMOUTH
GATEWAY M40 BANBURY
HAZEL GROVE SF
KINGSDITCH CHELTENHAM HOME FD
KINGSGATE EAST KILBRIDE SF
LINCOLN TRITTON ROAD
LLANELLI PARC TROSTRE
LONGWELL GREEN BRISTOL
LOWER EARLEY SF
MARTLESHAM HEATH SF
MAYBIRD STRATFORD U AVON SF
MENAI BANGOR SF
MEOLE BRACE SHREWSBURY SF
NORTON COLLEGE SHEFFIELD SF
OATLANDS HARROGATE SF
PINCHINGTON LANE NEWBURY SF
PRESCOT CABLES SF
QUEENS DRIVE LIVERPOOL
ST HELENS RAVENHEAD
STOKE ON TRENT
SUNBURY CROSS SF
TEMPLE FORTUNE SF
THE DOCKS DUNDEE SF
THE SPRINGS LEEDS
TRURO LEMON QUAY
UNION SQUARE ABERDEEN
WASHINGTON GALLERIES SF
More details on M&S’s food waste plan:
- At M&S, we want to play our part to reduce food waste and our goal is to halve the amount of waste in our business by 2030.
- We’re partnering with the wider industry to find solutions to our biggest challenges and we're signed up to initiatives such as WRAP’s Food Waste Reduction Roadmap and Courtauld 2025.
- We’ve made good progress in reducing our waste at the source by working with our suppliers to ensure we put the right amount of stock on our shelves. Additionally, our markdown programme helps us to clear c. 75% of products that have reached the end of their shelf life.
- However, we know there is more to be done and our priority is to ensure that if there is any surplus food, it ends up on a person’s plate.
- Since 2015, we have been working with community platform Neighbourly to redistribute any surplus food from our stores. Over 580 of our owned stores are connected with 1,500 community causes across the UK and over the last five years, we have donated the equivalent of over 16m meals to support these local causes.
- We have accelerated the roll-out of a new app, which makes it even easier for our store colleagues to donate surplus food – doubling our redistribution rates in some stores. Since 2018, we have increased our food donations overall by 160%.
- At M&S, no food ever goes to waste and any remaining surplus is used to create energy to power homes and businesses through anaerobic digestion.
More details on M&S’s plastic plan
- Plastic plays an important role in preserving food, maintaining quality and preventing waste, in addition to protecting the clothes we sell in our stores from getting damaged
- But we know there are challenges with the current use of plastics – at M&S, we want to play our part to help change this. and at present in the UK is being used mainly in a linear way rather than as part of a circular economy.
- At M&S, we want to play our part as a business and take steps to move to a circular economy. Our priority is to reduce our use of plastic and where it’s not possible, support our customers to reuse or recycle.
- We are taking clear action to help our business, our customers and our colleagues to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic:
In our business and own operations:
- Our priority is to remove and reduce our use of plastic packaging where it adds no benefit and we’ve phased out over 2,000 tonnes since 2018 – such as replacing some of our ready meal trays with alternatives like foil, switching plastic cutlery with FSC certified wooden alternatives, removing plastic produce bags for loose fruit and veg and replacing plastic trays on produce with card alternatives.
- Where it’s not possible to reduce or remove plastic, we want to ensure our packaging can be reused or recycled. Our goal is to ensure all our packaging is widely recycled by 2022 and since March 2020, we’ve no longer used any black plastic packaging on our food production lines.
- We’re actively encouraging our customers to reuse through a number of initiatives. We offer a 25p discount for customers who bring in reusable coffee cups to our Cafés and containers for hot food to go at our Market Place counters. Earlier this year, we started trialling refillable cupboard essentials such as pasta, rice and cereals at our Hedge End and Manchester stores.
- We’ve replaced all our plastic produce and bakery bags with widely recycled paper versions in all our stores, and have phased out single-use 5p carrier bags in favour of stronger, multi-use Bags for Life, which are made from 100% of our own plastic waste. which are made from 100% of our own plastic waste.
- We’ve also offered free re-usable tote bags to our 7million sparks customers to help them reuse every time they shop.
- In Clothing & Home, we’ve removed the protective plastic covers from 500,000 of our cashmere jumpers and have started trialling how we can extend this to our Men’s multipack shirts, school uniforms and bedding. We’ve also reused or recycled over one billion plastic hangers since we introduced our hanger reuse scheme 12 years ago
Working with others to fundamentally reform the current UK waste and recycling system
- We’re working hard to play our part at M&S, but we know we can’t find answers to all the challenges we face as an industry alone, so we’re working closely with industry partners and NGOs to create long-term change.
- For example, we work with organisations like WRAP and are signatories of the UK Plastics Pact, as part of which we have committed to ensuring all our packaging is widely recycled by 2022.
- That is why we support the Government’s proposed regulatory changes known as Extended Producer Responsibility, which will fund improved recycling collections and infrastructure across the UK and incentivise businesses to use materials which are easier to recycle so that less waste is produced and exported abroad.
- It’s also why we also support the Government’s plans to ensure there is a more consistent and comprehensive approach to local council collections and better recycling infrastructure in the UK so that more plastic and packaging can be recovered and reprocessed domestically.
Helping our customers play their part
- To create long-term change, we need to engage the entire value chain from suppliers right the way through to our customers, who play a vital role at the end-life of all packaging.
- A solution we’re looking at to increase recyclability is our plastic take-back scheme, which we’ve rolled out to 16 of our stores.
- The scheme enables customers to bring back any difficult to recycle plastic such as black plastic, films and foils from any retailer and we’ll turn collected plastic into playground equipment and prevent it from going to landfill. We’ll continue rolling out the scheme to more of our stores.