Morrisons and Sainsbury’s have both started small-scale trials of Omega bread baskets, as the Tesco scheme gathers momentum.

Morrisons is trialling the baskets at one store and Sainsbury’s at a couple of outlets, working with a number of bakery suppliers.

A total of some 1.4 million one-size-fits-all Omega 10-loaf bread baskets are now in circulation as a roll-out nears completion in the Tesco estate.

Some 720 Tesco outlets, inclu-ding Express convenience stores, now have the baskets, said Paul Taylor, general manager of Basco, the company set up by the Federation of Bakers to manage the new system.

Some two million baskets are set to be in circulation by the end of the year and up to five million in the long term.

Attrition rates are currently being audited, but indications are that they are running at 5% in the closed loop system, compared to up to 70% with standard baskets. A target of 30% maximum losses has been set for when baskets are in wider circulation.