Sainsbury’s introduces innovative solution to reduce food waste: crownless pineapples
This week, Sainsbury’s is taking another significant step in its commitment to reduce waste by introducing crownless pineapples, a unique addition to their product lineup. Among the UK’s major supermarket chains, Sainsbury’s stands as the exclusive retailer offering this innovative choice.
Crownless pineapples, which are essentially traditional pineapples with the green leaves, or “crown,” removed, will be accessible to shoppers at Sainsbury’s starting from Wednesday, November 1st. This new product will be readily available both in physical stores and online, with a delightful bonus – these pineapples are perfectly ripe and ready to eat upon purchase, eliminating the need for customers to ripen them at home.
Ordinarily, the crown of a pineapple is discarded by consumers when preparing the fruit for consumption. By proactively removing these crowns during the production process, Sainsbury’s is taking a proactive stance to help customers minimize food-related waste. This environmentally conscious move is multi-faceted: the removed crowns will either be replanted in pineapple fields, contributing to the sustainable growth of the fruit, or they will be processed into animal feed, effectively reducing waste by a substantial 700 tonnes each year.
Additionally, Sainsbury’s is streamlining its packaging approach. The company will no longer attach packaging to standard-sized pineapples, reducing the volume of waste that customers would typically discard at home. This environmentally friendly strategy aligns with Sainsbury’s broader efforts to address food waste comprehensively.
The removal of pineapple crowns during production also has logistical benefits. Sainsbury’s can fit more crownless pineapples into each box it transports to its stores, resulting in an impressive reduction of 2,500 boxes shipped per year. This not only optimizes the use of resources but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation.
Sainsbury’s remains committed to providing choice to its customers. In addition to the crownless option, they will continue to offer large pineapples with their leaves intact, catering to different preferences.
Claire Hughes, Director of Product and Innovation at Sainsbury’s, expressed the company’s dedication to sustainability, saying, “We’re passionate about reducing our impact on the planet wherever we can, and we’re always looking for new and unique ways to make bold changes with sustainability in mind. Our new crownless pineapples may look a little out of the ordinary, but they offer very clear benefits in reducing waste and packaging. We hope that our customers will embrace the change with the knowledge that this quirky fruit is helping us to repurpose waste within our supply chain, as well as helping to reduce waste in their homes too.”
This initiative aligns with Sainsbury’s ongoing efforts to innovate and provide solutions to combat food waste, not only within their own operations but also within the homes of their customers. As an example, Sainsbury’s recently announced a transition from “use-by” dates to “best-before” dates for its own-brand milk range, impacting over 730 million pints of milk sold annually by the retailer.
A significant aspect of this crownless pineapple initiative is the responsible handling of the removed crowns. Between 25% to 50% of these crowns will be suitable for replanting in pineapple fields, ensuring a sustainable supply chain. Any crowns that are unsuitable for replanting due to being too small or damaged will be repurposed as animal feed, further reducing waste and promoting sustainability.