Sainsbury’s wants to teach customers the best ways to freeze food in order to reduce food waste and save money by inviting them into a walk-in freezer store.
The supermarket giant is set to launch a concept store pop-up that appears like an ordinary Sainsbury’s store from the outside, but is actually a giant walk-in freezer store.
Customers will be greeted by shelves of frozen fruit and vegetables, dairy, meat, fish, and baked goods, which will all be given away for free.
According to Sainsbury’s, the pop-up, which will open in London’s Boxpark in Shoreditch from 27 to 28 September, will show visitors “innovative ways” to freeze “unsuspecting” foods.
For example, people will be shown how they can mix wilting herbs into oil or water and freezing them into ice cube trays, which can be thrown straight into soups and stews.
The foods that will be available in the walk-in freezer store have been selected from research that shows the most common edible items that Britons throw away as they reach their use-by date.
These include milk, eggs, bread, and onions, as well as other commonly wasted food items like bananas and herbs.
It comes as Britons seek more ways to save money on groceries as the UK’s food price inflation continues to rise.
At the end of August, figures from the British Retail Consortium and NielsenIQ showed that the price of food rose at its fastest rate since 2008.
The annual increase in fresh food prices jumped to 10.5 per cent, with the biggest price rises reflected in products like milk and margarine.
Sainsbury’s director of corporate responsibility and sustainability, Ruth Cranston, said: “When people think about climate change, food waste often gets overlooked.
“Around a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted and it contributes a whopping eight to 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions globally each year.
“That is why we are launching Sainsfreeze, to help customers try and combat food waste and learn handy hints and top tips along the way. Innovative freezing not only allows us to save food we would otherwise have thrown away, but also to buy reduced food close to its use-by date, saving even more money on the weekly grocery bill.”
Catherine David, director of collaboration and change at food waste charity WRAP, added: “This is an excellent and unique concept from Sainsbury’s. We need to look at our food storage and how we can ensure we waste as little as possible.
“Sainsfreeze will certainly help inform people about storing their food, and what unexpected items they’re able to freeze to guarantee less food is wasted.
“With food waste costing the average household with children around £730 a year, and particularly in the current climate as we’re all looking for ways to save money wherever we can, this is really going to help our food last longer. It would be great to see more of these rolled out across the country and reach more people.”