M&S is expanding its “frozen garlic bread waste initiative” to no other than a beloved store in Lewisham.

Designed to reduce in-store food waste, at the end of each day, unsold loaves are prepared and filled with garlic butter by in-store bakery colleagues, before being frozen to extend shelf life by 40 days.

London customers can choose from a Garlic Baguette or Boule, San Francisco Sourdough Garlic Bread or West Country Cheddar and Red Leicester Garlic Cob.

The products have proved hugely popular with customers, with more than 1.4 million re-purposed loaves sold across M&S stores last year.

The ten stores joining the scheme include M&S stores in:

  1. One New Change
  2. Mill Hill
  3. Old Street
  4. Lewisham
  5. Streatham Hill
  6. Streatham High Street
  7. Kilburn
  8. Swiss Cottage
  9. Archway
  10. Southfields

They join 60 stores introducing the initiative this year, taking the total number of stores offering the loaves to 450 across the UK.

The initiative is part of M&S’ Plan A commitment to halve food waste by 2029/30.

The retailer is targeting becoming a net zero business across its operations and entire value chain by 2040 – ten years earlier than the Government’s UK wide strategy.

M&S’ latest Family Matters Index, based on interviews with over 5,000 UK adults, revealed the environment is a top concern for 6 in 10 families (59 per cent) and 64 per cent of families say they are trying to minimise household food waste.

As part of its efforts to tackle food waste in-store, M&S launched 25p banana bags in 2021 to encourage customers to buy ripe bananas perfect for baking.

The retailer also has a partnership with Neighbourly, whereby any edible food surplus from stores is redistributed to local causes and community groups. Since 2015, the equivalent of 80 million meals have been redistributed to local communities.

Ellie Thomas, Store Manager at M&S London One New Change, said: “Our in-store bakery team deliver creates the highest quality bread, baked 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 new delicious products for our customers – at great value too, from £1.

"The scheme has been well received at other stores and we are delighted to now be able to offer these brilliant products to our customers in Chippenham and Devizes and continue to play our part in reducing food waste.”

Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP, said: “It’s great to see a simple and effective idea grow in this way and become a big hit with shoppers.

"Our latest household food waste research shows that bread is the second most wasted food in UK homes with the equivalent of more than one million loaves binned daily.

"It can easily become surplus at the end of trading so giving a second life to a surplus loaf is an excellent way to reduce waste, make our food go further and feed families.”