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Unsold fresh bakery loaves turned into garlic bread at M&S

M&S is expanding its frozen garlic bread waste initiative to local store, M&S Newport Gwent this April.

At the end of each day, unsold baguettes and boules – baked in-store daily – are prepared and filled with garlic butter, and then sold as frozen garlic bread from £1, with an extended shelf life of 30 days.

The scheme is currently live in 251 stores and launched in 2020 following a successful trial. Since then, M&S has sold 2.1million of the re-purposed loaves.

Due to its popularity, the scheme is now being extended to local store, M&S Newport Gwent and two new products will also be available.

Shoppers will now have the choice of San Francisco Sourdough Garlic Bread (£3) and West Country Cheddar and Red Leicester Garlic Cob (£3), alongside the existing choices of a Garlic Baguette (£1 single pack or £2 twin packs) and a boule (£2.50).

M&S’ upcoming Family Matters Index, based on interviews with over 5,000 UK adults, reveals that 71% of Wales residents are making an effort to live more sustainably due to the cost of living crisis. Of those, 88% are prioritising reducing their own food waste.

Hayley Ashman, Store Manager at M&S Newport Gwent, said: “Our in-store bakers create the freshest, highest quality bread daily for our customers. We believe each loaf is too good to waste and our customers agree. By getting creative we’ve found a way to extend shelf life and create delicious products for our customers – at great value too, from £1. Myself and the team are determined to keep finding innovative ways to tackle food waste in-store and look forward to playing our part in reducing food waste for M&S stores across the country.”

M&S has pledged to halve food waste by 2030, as well as redistribute 100% of its edible surplus by 2025, as part of its Plan A sustainability roadmap.

The team at M&S Newport Gwent has also helped to tackle food waste by donating more than 62,600 meals to local community groups and charities through its food surplus redistribution programme, run in partnership with Neighbourly.  With 9.5 million tonnes of food being wasted every year in homes and businesses across the UK, the programme is a key part of M&S’s Plan A initiatives and aims to help reduce the environmental impact of food waste. By ensuring more food reaches people’s plates, M&S Newport Gwent alone has already prevented the waste of more than 88,600kg in CO2.

Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP, said: “It’s great to see a simple and effective idea grow in this way. Bread is the second most wasted food item in UK homes with the equivalent of more than one million loaves binned every day. As a short self-life item, bread can also become surplus at the end of trading so giving a second life to surplus loaf is an excellent way to reduce waste, make our food go further and feed families.”