Marks & Spencer (M&S) is extending the roll out of its frozen garlic bread, made from surplus baguettes, to 200 stores as part of its 2030 goal to halve food waste.
It is part of a wider M&S in-store bakery relaunch which has seen eight new products launched, including banana bread and almond muffins – as well as recipe upgrades for existing products.
The initiative was trialled in eight stores with unsold baguettes and boules, which are baked fresh daily, being sliced and filled with garlic butter at the end of each day. The products are then sold frozen, priced at £1.00 for the garlic baguette, £1.80 for a twin-pack and £2.00 for the garlic boule.
Freezing the garlic bread extends its shelf-life by 30 days, M&S added.
Notably, the trial was conducted ‘behind the scenes’ but is now adding shelf-edge signage to engage customers on the food waste reduction concept across the 200 stores.
In addition, the packaging used for the garlic bread is now ‘widely recycled’. It is made from translucent paper or paper with a small plastic window and has been rolled out across M&S’ in-store bakery as part of its foal to make all of its packaging widely recycled by 2022.
M&S Food director of technology Paul Willgloss said the short shelf-life of in-store bakery products 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,” he said.
“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.”
M&S is a signatory of Courtauld 2025 – a 10-year voluntary agreement, managed by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap), which brings together organisations from across the food and drink supply chain to reduce carbon, water and waste associated with it.
“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,” added David Moon, head of business collaboration at Wrap.
M&S isn’t the only retail to find a new use for its in-store bakery products. In 2019, Tesco used surplus baguettes and batons to create bread pudding and crostini.The frozen garlic bread, made from unsold bakery products, will now be sold in 200 stores following a successful trial