Photo courtesy of Tesco

Retail roundup: Seedless lemons arrive at Tesco; Sainsbury’s joins Black British Network

Produce Business report

Seedless lemons never really took off in the UK years ago after many trials failed to produce a strong, stable supply of good-tasting fruit. But Tesco said it may have found the answer to bringing consistent seedless lemons to its stores – by looking to South Africa and Spain.

Starting this week, the retailer said it is stocking those “guaranteed seedless” lemons to consumers and pitching hard its smooth, pip-free insides as a way to drive sales.

“At last, now customers will no longer have to spend extra time picking out the pips after squeezing lemon on a wonderful meal or drink,” Tesco citrus buyer Emily Ridge said. “This new variety has been growing and maturing for many years and now is finally ready to hit supermarket shelves.”

Tesco said the natural mutation that was discovered in Australia has been replicated in South Africa, with new trees “using buds from the seedless tree and grafting them onto suitable rootstock to create new trees.”

The lemons will be supplied by Peterborough-based AMT Fruit, which has partnered with Tesco for more than 20 years. The Jaffa Seedless Lemons will cost £1.50 per pack of four.


The supermarket chain said it is joining the Black British Network “to improve the representation and experiences of its Black colleagues.” The Black British Network, which was started by campaigner Cephas Williams, aims to drive change through partnerships with UK businesses.

Some of the initiatives Sainsbury’s has committed to over the past year include:
• Training 1,400 senior leaders and the Sainsbury’s board on talking about race and ethnicity
• Tripling its investment into the development of ethnically diverse colleagues
• Completing an ethnicity pay gap review and published the results and actions
• Celebrating Black History Month in stories during October

“At Sainsbury’s we share Cephas’ commitment to tackle racial injustice and inequality in our society and are proud to be part of his alliance,” CEO Simon Roberts said. “We want to be a truly inclusive retailer, where all our colleagues can fulfil their potential and all our customers feel welcome when they shop with us. To achieve this, it’s important that we stand up and take action against racism, by supporting our Black colleagues and customers across the country. We all have a responsibility to help build an equal society, free from racial discrimination and there’s still a long way to go.”


The retailer said it has spent more than £16 million in improving the look of its cafés and the launch of a new menu as they reopened to customers last week. The menu includes a separate vegetarian and vegan menu and the inclusion of Morrisons ‘The Best’ products.  Some of the items include:

  • Poached Eggs & Avocado – Two poached eggs with smashed avocado served on sourdough toast, baked fresh on our Market Street
  • 3 Bean Chilli Burrito Bowl (£5.95) – Morrisons 3 Bean Chilli-Non-Carne and rice on a soft tortilla, with guacamole, salad leaf and a fresh lemon wedge 
  • Veggie Burger (£5.50) – Morrisons Veggie burger with a cheese slice, salad leaf, tomato and Morrisons burger sauce served on a brioche bun.

To remain safe during the pandemic and provide flexibility for diners, Morrisons customers can use its Order & Pay app to get service from their tables.

“We’ve put a lot of effort and investment into welcoming our customers back in a safe environment,” said Ali Lyons, Head of Cafés at Morrisons. “We are so excited for them to try our new menu which is freshly prepared by our café colleagues.” 


Co-op and Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network will team up on an initiative to redistribute 6.8 million meals per year that will help cut food waste. Co-op is planning to pour £500,000 in the effort, investment from Co-op go into Hubbub’s Community Fridge Network, with the aim to redistribute 6.8 million meals a year, from food that would otherwise go to waste.

There are 150 fridges across the UK that are open to all to share fresh food that would otherwise been thrown away. The food is donated by businesses and Co-op, which gives surplus food from its stores. The two partners are hoping to expand the network by 100 fridges.

“Thanks to our members and customers, we’re delighted to be partnering with Hubbub on such an innovative scheme bringing communities together, empowering people towards community-led food solutions that will help to build community resilience,” Steve Murrells, Co-op Group Chief Executive Officer, said. “As a co-operative, we recognise our responsibility to make a genuine difference and have already made a number of interventions to help tackle food poverty and create fairer access to food, through our food share partnerships and our donations to FareShare.”



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