Photo courtesy of Sainsbury's

Could offering free spices and herbs help UK consumers eat healthier? Sainsbury’s hopes so. 

Produce Business report

Consumers might be eating more at home as cost of dining out remains high, but it doesn’t mean they are enjoying it. 

Sainsbury’s recently conducted a poll of more than 2,000 adults in the UK that showed that more than half are “no longer excited by food” and believe the meals they are preparing are pretty dull. 

To combat this, the retailer is trying out a new service it hopes will provide some cooking inspiration while bringing more zest to meal prep and their proteins and vegetables. 

Run by the Bread and Butter Thing, its new Seasonings Shuttle service is providing free herbs and spices at mobile food clubs. That is crucial because many shoppers have been reluctant to purchase them because of high costs, instead focussing on meal staples.  

“It should come as no surprise that the cost-of-living crisis has forced many UK households to reassess food priorities, with staples coming first and the nice-to-haves like herbs and spices being scrapped,” Mark Game, CEO at The Bread and Butter Thing, added. “Food is one of life’s joys and everyone deserves good grub without having to sacrifice nutrition or taste.” 

But there’s more to the initiative than making meals at home more palette pleasing. 

“We work deep in the heart of 120 low-income communities in the UK with 54 in Greater Manchester, and see the benefits of having access to affordable, healthy food first-hand,” Game said. “So we’re very excited to be working in partnership with Sainsbury’s and Comic Relief, and delivering some extra flavour to our Manchester hubs. The majority of our members know how to cook, and the Seasonings Shuttle is a great way to provide some of the items that are no longer within budget.” 

So what is on offer?

“Those visiting the Seasonings Shuttle can choose from a range of ingredients that are otherwise left off shopping lists, [including] dried herbs such as oregano, parsley, and basil, as well as fresh herbs including chillies, ginger and garlic, plus aromatic spices such as smoked paprika, garam masala and ground cinnamon,” Sainsbury’s said in a statement. “Eating a diverse diet, including a range of plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, herbs & spices, helps to ensure people get a range of nutrients.

The Nourish the Nation programme helps fight food poverty by giving those in need access to balanced, nutritional, and sustainable food along with resources to maintain their independence. Sainsbury’s has raised more than £170 million in its 25-year partnership with Comic Relief, including £9.2m in the last year alone.

Customers can support the Nourish the Nation programme in Sainsbury’s stores and online, via the Nectar app, or on the Comic Relief website.



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