Retailer M&S in food waste initiative with banana bundle
High Street retailer Marks and Spencer will introduce a new banana waste reduction scheme to all stores in England this week.
In a retail first, the scheme will enable customers to take home a bag of extra ripe bananas from 25p, minimising the amount of M&S food that goes unsold and is left to waste.
M&S battles food waste
In the UK, 9.5m tonnes of food is wasted every year. That’s the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium nine times over.
This is especially devastating as 4.7m people in the UK live in food insecurity, which is especially dangerous for children. There are over 2,000 food banks across the country supporting these people, but they can’t offer food which has started to decompose.
M&S has committed to reducing its food waste by 50% before 2030 and to do this, has introduced ‘Go Bananas’, a bag containing a minimum of three ready to eat bananas, for just 25p, along with two recipes for families to bake at home.
The Go Bananas bag is being rolled out to all stores in England after a successful trial. M&S tested the bag at 10 stores and received a positive response from local customers, selling a total of 6.8k banana bags, or 18k saved units of loose bananas, that otherwise risked becoming food waste.
M&S adapts to meet the popularity of home baking
Over the pandemic period, many have used the time to get creative in the kitchen and banana bread has been a hit. Sadly, many still arrive at M&S stores and are not brought.
“Bananas are among the most wasted produce at supermarkets as customers typically like to buy spotless yellow bananas to ripen at home”, said Pippa Masters, Fruit Buyer at M&S. “We’re excited to be extending our Go Bananas bags to more M&S stores, and further reduce food waste by offering bananas that are absolutely perfect for baking – and at great value. Home baking has seen a huge rise over the last year, with banana bread becoming the ultimate zeitgeist bake and a favourite for families. Our Go Bananas bags are helping us to become more relevant, more often for customers who are looking to enjoy baking tasty and convenient food at home.”
Other initiatives include a nationwide surplus food redistribution scheme in collaboration with Neighbourly, which connects all its stores with local food charities.