Marks and Spencer experience sales growth with waste reduction in fruit and vegetables
Marks & Spencer, the world-leading retailer in sustainability, has made a new step towards reducing food waste and experienced significant sales growth.
Marks & Spencer conducted a pilot with fresh grapes and managed to extend the shelf life from 5 to 7 days. Due to the longer shelf life, in store waste was reduced by 50%, which created a major financial saving. In addition the increase in product quality resulted in significant sales growth. Manor Fresh Ltd., supplier of fresh potatoes in the UK, attained with the same solution a great improvement in retail shelf life and product quality. The company won the 2012 M&S Food Supplier’s Innovation Award for this achievement.
Marks & Spencer is said to be so pleased with the results that they have asked all their suppliers to look at the possibilities that this new technology by PerfoTec can bring to their fruit and vegetables ranges.
Fruit and vegetables need oxygen to stay fresh, but the amount of oxygen needed varies by varieties and changes through the seasons. PerfoTec supplies equipment to packers of fruit and vegetables that measures the exact quantity of oxygen needed and then its lasers provide the packaging film with the correct micro perforation required. This extends the shelf life considerably. Research has shown that in this way the loss of pre-packed fruits and vegetables can be reduced by 50%.
With an estimated total loss of fresh produce of € 750 million, a saving of approximately € 187 million can be made, depending on the percentage of pre-packed fresh produce in the supermarket.
Besides the considerable loss reduction, the packaging solutions from PerfoTec have got a number of other important advantages. By maintaining the quality of fresh produce sales increase, and the retailer further strengthens its positive fresh image. Additionally, distribution costs decrease due to the lower supply frequency that is needed. These benefits are all in addition to the huge savings that are made by extending the shelf life in store and for consumers.