In a recent blog post, Marks & Spencer’s Director of Product Development April Preston has revealed her list of trends that highlight what’s going to be big in 2020 and beyond.
The Freezer Is Your Friend
Frozen food is no longer a stigma, more and more people using their freezer as an extension of their fridges and pantries – to minimize food waste, lock in freshness and reap the benefits throughout the week of batch-cooking for the families. M&S’s trends team took a recent trip to the West Coast of the US and saw how differently the American supermarkets approach the frozen section with everything from frozen chopped garlic cubes to entire meal kit ranges available in their freezers. The new M&S Food store in Hempstead Valley showcases the biggest freezer space in the business (75% bigger than standard stores) and stocks over 291 lines. New products include convenient ingredients such as chopped onions and herbs and bulk 1kg formats as well as frozen seafood.
With 1 in 4 M&S consumers choosing a flexitarian diet this is a trend that’s showing no sign of slowing down. We are expecting to see an even bigger leap forward in products suitable for vegans, with diversification in plant proteins and experimentation in flavors.
“Following on from the successful launch of our Plant Kitchen range earlier this year, we have turned the heat up and focused particularly on turning well-loved products into plant-based versions and celebrated vegetables in all their forms,” writes Preston.
M&S is gearing up to launch over a hundred vegan-friendly dishes in January, no least including the first No Chicken Kiev.
No longer playing second fiddle to meat, vegetables are destined to become the heroes themselves. You don’t have to be strictly vegan or vegetarian to partake, either with the rise of veggie-centric recipes and showstoppers that even carnivores can enjoy. To this end, M&S plans to unveil a new range of veggie pots in January.
Along with tasting more delicious, eating what’s in season often means a fresher more nutritious product with a lower environmental impact. Consumers are now understanding more about early-, peak- and late- seasonal produce.
Continuing to Act on Plastic
The plastic issue and sustainability are high on the list of what is going to matter in 2020 for M&S. The need to tackle these matters is not new, and like consumers, M&S is committed to the environment and the company’s priority over the last couple of years has been to reduce and remove plastic from its packaging – from unwrapping fruit and veg to redesigning their crisp and popcorn packs. According to Preston, M&S has managed to shed 1,000 tons of plastic and in 2020 plans to remove another 1,000 tons.
“An area we know is key for our customers is recyclability, so where it is not possible to switch the packaging, we’re focused on making it widely recyclable (or reusable). Additionally, in 2019 we completely removed glitter – a difficult to recycle micro-plastic – from all our Christmas cards, wrapping paper, gift bags, and crackers,” Preston added.