M&S Food expands plastic-free grocery refill concept to third store

M&S Food’s brand-new test and learn renewal store in Staines, Two Rivers Shopping Centre, has become the third to feature the retailer’s popular Fill Your Own concept, supporting customers to reduce and reuse with over 50 lines of refillable grocery essentials and frozen fruit.

Customer demand for Fill Your Own has remained strong since it was first introduced to M&S Hedge End last December and Manchester in March this year. The extensive grocery range spans pasta, rice, cereal and confectionery and customers in Staines can also shop refillable frozen fruit such as mango, pineapple and raspberries.

As M&S continues to adapt the initiative based on learnings and feedback, the latest launch will see bolder and brighter messaging to highlight the quality and value customers trust – from Eat Well to Remarksable Value lines.

The Fill Your Own initiative supports M&S Food’s plan to reduce, reuse and recycle packaging together with its customers and has the potential to prevent thousands of units of plastic from being used.

Paul Willgoss, M&S Food’s Director of Food Technology, commented, “As we continue testing and learning from Fill Your Own, it’s clear that demand for refillables remains strong. We know families particularly enjoy shopping the concept as a fun activity, so our new store in the popular Staines shopping centre is the ideal next location for Fill Your Own.

'But most importantly, our customers care about the issue of plastic and this initiative is just one part of our plan to help them reduce, reuse and recycle – because we know our actions today will help to protect the planet tomorrow.”

The current best-selling cupboard essentials include four berry muesli, basmati rice, chocolate raisins and whole porridge oats and this week, M&S has added firm family favourites to Fill Your Own including corn flakes, rice pops and tri-coloured pasta.

Fill Your Own has continued to prove popular amongst customers and despite shifting consumer behaviour during the pandemic, over 40% of the lines are currently outselling the packaged alternatives.

To help customers to shop with confidence, M&S has introduced additional hygiene measures for Fill Your Own including increased cleaning and hand sanitiser, with colleagues on-hand to help customers fill, weigh and pay with ease. Customers can bring in or purchase reusable containers, or alternatively free, recyclable paper bags are on offer for those who wish to use them.

As M&S continues developing its renewal programme, the retailer plans to further expand its Fill Your Own concept as a key feature of the new format stores.

Since 2018, M&S Food has removed over 2,000 tonnes of plastic and has stopped using black plastic as part of its target to make 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2022.