The pop-up will resemble a walk-in freezer with familiar food items frozen in innovative ways to help reduce food waste, keep nearly ‘off’ items fresh for longer and help maximize space — with all foods on display given away for free.
Next week, Sainsbury’s will present Sainsfreeze — a new, walk-in-freezer concept store that will show London customers how to freeze unexpected foods, keeping surplus food from going to waste and helping people save money.
Running in London’s Boxpark, Shoreditch, between 27-28 September, the first-of-its-kind, immersive installation looks like a regular Sainsbury’s store from the outside; but once inside, visitors will be greeted with frozen groceries that they would usually buy fresh. Upon entering, customers will be greeted by shelves stacked with fruit and veg, dairy, meat, fish and baked goods — but everything will be frozen, and it’s all being given away for free.
In the same vein as Hellmann’s Super Bowl campaign this year, which featured former NFL linebacker Jerod Mayo tackling would-be food-wasters and offering tips for how instead to use the surplus food, Sainsfreeze aims to offer new ideas for home cooks to preserve and utilize some of Britain’s most-wasted foods. Items normally found on each aisle will be frozen in innovative ways to help save space and keep food for longer, thus reducing waste. From mixing wilting herbs with oil or water and freezing into ice cube trays — perfect for throwing straight into soups and stews — to portioning minced meat and freezing flat to save space, the retailer hopes the store will help teach customers new ways to freeze food to reduce waste at home.
The items available have been selected off the back of research that revealed the items Brits most commonly throw away as they are about to go bad — including milk, eggs, bread, and onions — as well as other commonly wasted items foods, such as bananas and herbs.
“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,” said Catherine David, Director of Collaboration and Change at WRAP, whose 2015 study found Brits waste the most food in all of Europe. “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.”
Sainsbury’s is committed to halving food waste across its operations by 2030. The retailer has sent zero waste to landfill since 2013; and recently joined fellow UK grocery giants Marks & Spencer, Tesco and Waitrose in removing ‘best before’ dates on 276 products. September also marks one year since Sainsbury’s started working with Neighbourly, in which time it has donated over five million meals to those who need it most.
Ruth Cranston, Director of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said, “We recognise the way our customers shop and eat has benefits for their health and the planet, too. It’s why our mission — helping everyone eat better — supports our customers to make healthier, more sustainable choices.
“When people think about climate change, food waste often gets overlooked,” she added. “Around a third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted and it contributes a whopping 8-10 percent 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.”
All surplus food from Sainsfreeze will be donated to Sainsbury’s food redistribution charity partner FareShare, ensuring that none goes to waste.