Tesco to extend range of prepared vegetable, fruit and salad dishes

Tesco to extend range of prepared vegetable, fruit and salad dishes


CHESHUNT, England, 2017-Aug-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — It was traditionally the supermarket aisle where shoppers purely bought their fruit and vegetables.

But now major changes in the produce area are having a profound effect on not only shopping habits but also the move to reduce food waste.

Instead of just fruit and vegetables Tesco fruit and veg aisles now offer shoppers more than 400 fresh, healthy ready meals, snacks and side dishes.

These include healthy carb alternatives such as Butternut Fusilli and Leek and Cavolo Bake; side dishes like Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Mushrooms; snacks like Mexican Spiced Bean and Fruit Salsa; and dessert crumble mixes with fruit.

In the last two years rising demand for these prepared foods has grown by 10 per cent – the equivalent of an extra 1.5 million items bought by shoppers.

And their popularity is having a great environmental knock-on effect – a number of these dishes and snacks allow growers and producers to utilise all of their crops, such as cauliflower, carrots, swedes, broccoli and butternut, leading to less food waste.

For instance, cauliflowers considered too small to sell on their own are now being used to make cauliflower couscous – a healthier replacement for carbs – amongst other prepared veg dishes.

And wonky shaped carrots are now being used to make carrot spaghetti – another healthier alternative to carbs.

Tesco prepared produce buyer Elizabeth Hall said:

“These tempting new fresh fruit and veg foods are not only offering shoppers a far wider choice in healthy, nutritious meals but are also helping tackle food waste through greater crop utilisation.

“For growing numbers of shoppers the fruit and veg aisle is now the first destination they will head to, to find innovative and delicious new meals if they are pressed for time and looking for fresh food they can cook quickly.

“Until about five years ago the main prepared fruit and veg items were stir fry mixes, sides like roasting trays of vegetables, and fruit snack packs.

“These have been so popular that we began to expand the range in order to further help customers who are short on time but still want to experience the joy of cooking fresh food.”

Demand at Tesco has particularly rocketed over the last two years with:

  • Spiralised vegetables such as courgette or carrot spaghetti – soaring by 40 per cent
  • Edamame bean salads – growing by more than 100 per cent
  • Organic prepared salads – up by nearly 90 per cent
  • Healthy fruit snacks such as melon and mango ‘fingers’ – up 400 per cent

On account of their growing popularity Tesco is about to extend its range of prepared vegetable, fruit and salad dishes.

Among the new lines about to be launched are the UK’s first ever mushroom burgers as well as beetroot burgers; potato wedges with katsu dip and crunchy quinoa; and fajita mix with peppers and onions.

Added Tesco’s Elizabeth Hall: “It’s not only time-pressed shoppers that we are catering for with these new fresh ready meals and snacks.

“Healthy foods such as butternut fusilli and butternut lasagne sheets are meeting the needs of customers wanting to cut down on carbs and look after themselves through simple alternatives.”

Note to editors:

 Timeline for evolution of the produce aisle

1990s – First prepared snacking fruit goes on sale which is washed, bite-size and ready to eat on the go as well as vegetable lines such as stir fry mixes

2000s – Launch of roasting vegetable trays plus ready-made salads

2010 onwards – Range widens to include ready-made side dishes such as stuffed mushrooms and peppers

2015 – Tesco launches UK’s first alternate carb spiralised vegetables

2017 – Produce aisle prepared range grows to include meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Source: Tesco


Fruit and vegetables at Tesco will stay fresher for longer as a result of new food waste initiative

CHESHUNT, England, 2015-10-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — Customers can benefit from salads and citrus fruit that will stay fresh for up to two extra days, thanks to an industry leading initiative by Tesco.

Some of the most popular fruit and vegetables will stay fresher for longer as a result of Tesco cutting out a food packing stage in the journey from farm to fork.

Among the foods that are gaining extra freshness from the initiative include some of the most popular items in the produce aisle, including:

  • Citrus fruit
  •  Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Celery

According to the UK’s Waste and Resources Reduction Action Programme (WRAP), seven million tonnes of food is thrown away each year by British households, costing the average family with children £700.*

Tesco Group Food Commercial Director Matt Simister said: “For millions of our customers this move will mean having up to an extra two days in which to enjoy some of the most popular fruit and vegetables.

 “The extra days of freshness will particularly benefit customers who are pressed for time and will mean they are less likely to throw away food.

 “The move is part of our efforts to not only help busy families plan ahead but also to help customers reduce waste at home too.”

 As part of its ongoing programme to tackle food waste Tesco looked at its supply chain to identify ways of working directly with producers to speed up the process by which freshly picked produce arrives in store.

It found that as a result of advancements in packing and storage it was now possible to ship produce directly from European suppliers to Tesco stores, cutting the amount of time spent in transit which means getting produce to customers faster, and therefore fresher.

Dr Richard Swannell, Director Sustainable Food Systems at WRAP said: “WRAP’s Product Life research identified a number of simple and safe ways to make changes throughout the supply chain to pass on more product life to shoppers.

“Giving people more time to eat the foods they buy reduces the risk of food being wasted. Our report estimates some 250,000 tonnes of food waste could be prevented by a one day increase in product life – food wasted by households and by the supply chain.

“Preventing this volume of waste means UK shoppers have a potential shared saving of up to £500 million a year. I’m delighted Tesco have used this guide to examine a range of products.”


 Note to editors:

* Fresh fruit and vegetables make up the single biggest proportion of the food thrown away in the UK.

WRAP data reveals the latest food waste and avoidable food waste figures.

Total food waste (tonnes)  Avoidable food waste (tonnes)
Citrus 174,000 73,000
Melons 89,000 28,000
Lettuce 52,000 44,000
Tomatoes 49,000 45,000
Cucumbers 42,000 43,000
Peppers 36,000 18,000
Mushrooms 23,000 18,000
Broccoli 42,000 15,000

Recent Tesco  achievements in helping reduce food waste

  • Tesco recently announced a partnership with Fareshare and FoodCloud to ensure that surplus food in stores goes to people in need. Our goal with this partnership is to eliminate edible food waste in our stores – estimated to be at least 30, 000 tonnes.
  • It has also taken other measures to help customers in the home such as redesigning packaging that will help keep certain meat products fresher for up to an extra five days for beef and lamb.
  • Tesco has also worked with WRAP on their Love Food, Hate Waste programme to help customers in the home – for example redesigning packaging on key produce lines to include food waste tips.  These tips range from storing apples in loosely tied plastic bags in a fridge, through to storing spinach in plastic containers lined with a paper towel and a tight fitting lid.
  • Preliminary findings show that 1 in 10 customers claim that they’ve changed their behaviour as a result of the new packaging, that’s 1.4 million customers.

For more information please contact the Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645

We are a team of over 500,000 people in 12 markets dedicated to providing the most compelling offer to our customers.