New crostini and bread pudding products help Tesco tackle food waste


8 Jul 2019

Bakeries at Tesco are reviving a traditional way of tackling food waste – by turning surplus baguettes and batons into tasty new bread products.

Baguettes and batons are among the UK’s most popular bread but also two foods which see among the highest waste at the supermarket.

But now Tesco plans to dramatically reduce that figure by launching bread pudding and olive oil crostini lines made from surplus baguettes and batons.

And if the move is successful and the products are rolled out across Tesco’s UK stores it could mean about 40 per cent of the supermarket’s in-store bakery baguette and baton waste being cut.

The Olive Oil Crostini will be made from in-store bakery white batons which are sliced, topped with extra virgin olive oil and then baked to a crisp and crunchy texture.

The Bread Pudding will be made from surplus in-store bakery white baguettes and will first be broken into crumbs before having spices, sultanas and water added.

Tesco Bakery Category Director Gordon Gafa said:

“These new fresh bread pudding and crostini lines are made to classic recipes and using bread that’s been deemed surplus at the end of the day.

“We’re very proud of our record on tackling bread waste and this latest move follows other recent measures such as advising customers that they can freeze bread and also reducing the amount of bread we bake in our stores.”

According to food waste action charity WRAP, surplus bread is one of the biggest waste problems facing food retailers, particularly with freshly baked lines.

In 2015 the group estimated that surplus bakery products account for nearly a third (67,500 tonnes) of the UK’s total retail food waste.

David Moon, Head of Business Collaboration at WRAP, said

“This initiative by Tesco is an excellent example of a simple solution to a common problem.

“Using surpluses in store to make a delicious new product saves good food from spoiling, and reduces the cost of waste to the business.

“Bread is also the second most wasted food in the home and every single day, as a nation, we waste one million loaves.”

The new bakery lines are being sold at 24 Tesco stores across the UK.

The move follows Tesco’s involvement in another successful food waste saving scheme which sees surplus grapes from used to make a new premium gin called HYKE which is exclusively on sale at Tesco.

Tesco also recently published its annual food waste data (Tuesday 14 May), revealing 63 per cent more food was redistributed to charities, community groups, colleagues and animal feed.  

The retailer halved the amount of food safe for human consumption going to energy recovery compared to last year (51 per cent decrease) and is now more than 80 per cent of the way toward its target that no food safe for human consumption goes to waste. 

Overall, this led to the amount of food going to waste in Tesco’s UK operations falling by 17 per cent to 44,297 tonnes (0.45 per cent sales) compared to the previous year.

The Crostini costs 80p and the Bread Pudding costs £1.25.

ENDS

  Note to editors

  • The following stores will sell the Olive Oil Crostini: Maidstone Grove Green; Halifax; Horwich Extra, Bolton; Durham Extra; Hereford 2, Belmont, Herefordshire; Thirsk Superstore, North Yorkshire; Bury St Edmunds; Northampton South; Flitwick Superstore; Fulbourn Superstore, Cherry Hinton, Cambridge; Hexham Extra, Northumberland; and Gillingham Kent Extra.
  • The Bread Pudding will be sold at the following stores: Bishops Stortford Superstore; Evesham Superstore; Maidstone Grove Green Superstore; Rotherham Extra, Wisbech Extra; Brighouse Superstore; Chester Le Street Superstore; Bury St Edmunds Superstore; Northampton South Extra; Flitwick Superstore; Lincoln 2 Extra; Twickenham Extra.

Tesco is proud of its action on tackling bread food waste. This includes:

  • Helping customers know that bread can be frozen on packaging

Last year Tesco made the move to advise customers that they could freeze bread to cut down on their own food waste at home.

  • Bringing in resealable packaging on wraps and pittas

Making these breads stay fresher for longer in customers’ homes is another way of helping cut down on their own food waste.

Other initiatives to tackle food waste by Tesco include:

  • Community Food Connection

Tesco works in partnership with redistribution charity FareShare to donate surplus food from its stores to those in need. Tesco is now working with almost 7000 charities and community groups and has donated the equivalent of over 60 million meals. 

  • Champions 12.3

Tesco’s CEO, Dave Lewis, chairs a coalition of leaders from government, businesses, international organisations, research institutions, and civil society called Champions 12.3. This group is dedicated to accelerating progress towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains by 2030.

Champions 12.3 offers three recommendations for leaders to meet Target 12.3 by 2030:

  • Target: Targets set ambition, and ambition motivates action. Every country, major city and company involved in the food supply chain should set food loss and waste reduction targets consistent with Target 12.3 in order to ensure sufficient attention and focus.
  • Measure: What gets measured gets managed. The report champions governments and companies quantify and report publicly on food loss and waste and monitor progress over time through 2030.
  • Act: Impact only occurs if people act. Governments and companies should accelerate and scale up adoption of policies, incentives, investment and practices that reduce food loss and waste.

At the Champions 12.3 annual conference in September 2018 Tesco made the following announcements:

  • 10 of the world’s largest food brands including Mars, Unilever and General Mills committed to halve their food waste by 2030, publish food waste data for their operations within the next 12 months and take concrete steps to reduce food losses and waste in the supply chain and in the homes of customers.
  • 27 of our largest Tesco suppliers - responsible for over half of our own label fresh food sales in the UK - published their data
  • Booker published their data for the first time.
  • Tesco set out its ambition to lead on reducing food waste globally and became the first UK retailer to publish own operations data in 2013.
  • Tesco has not sent any food to landfill since 2009.