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Sainsbury’s launches seasonings shuttle to spice up mealtimes for struggling UK households

New research from Sainsbury’s reveals that half of those struggling to afford food have lost the joy in mealtimes, saying they’re no longer excited by food… View Article


Sainsbury’s launches seasonings shuttle to spice up mealtimes for struggling UK households

New research from Sainsbury’s reveals that half of those struggling to afford food have lost the joy in mealtimes, saying they’re no longer excited by food (54%) and find mealtimes to be bland (49%).

On a mission to improve this, Sainsbury’s is launching the UK’s first ever Seasonings Shuttle service, an initiative that offers free herbs and spices to users at mobile food clubs, run by The Bread and Butter Thing.

This comes as a huge three quarters (76%) of those surveyed are cutting herbs and spices from their shopping baskets to save money, despite over two thirds (69%) wanting to make mealtimes more exciting by adding the flavours found in these ingredients. The resulting lack of diversity to diets has left Brits feeling unsatisfied, with nearly half (47%) saying they don’t feel fulfilled after a meal.

As part of Sainsbury’s Nourish the Nation programme in partnership with Comic Relief, the Seasonings Shuttle sets out to tackle this meal monotony by ensuring that communities have access to good food, without having to compromise on taste. Teaming up with mobile food redistribution charity The Bread and Butter Thing throughout May, Sainsbury’s will provide 1,600 food club members in Manchester and the Greater Manchester area with products that they wouldn’t usually receive in their shopping bags.

Those visiting the Seasonings Shuttle can choose from a range of ingredients that are otherwise left off shopping lists. On offer will be a range of 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. Visitors to the shuttle will be able to take a range of jars and fresh options away so they can use the seasonings when preparing meals at home.

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. Sainsbury’s is helping people eat healthier, and provide better food for them and the planet, by encouraging diets in line with the Eatwell Guide.

The initiative follows Sainsbury’s ‘Unspoken Words’ campaign which launched last month, after data revealed a staggering 10 million people in the UK are at risk of not having access to enough food4. The campaign helped to give a voice to food club members, highlighting the vital support these services provide within communities.

Ruth Cranston, Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Sainsbury’s, said: “We hope that the Seasonings Shuttle will make mealtimes more varied and enjoyable for The Bread and Butter Thing’s members, helping them to stock up on herbs and spices so they can create more flavoursome and fulfilling dishes for many meals to come. With herbs and spices often getting left off shopping lists due to needing to prioritise other items, we wanted to create an initiative that supports our belief that everyone should have access to tasty and diverse food.

“The Seasonings Shuttle is the latest phase in our Nourish the Nation programme with Comic Relief, which aims to build upon our long-standing commitment to ensure everyone has access to good food that is balanced, nutritious, and sustainable.”

Mark Game, CEO at The Bread and Butter Thing, added: “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. Food is one of life’s joys and everyone deserves good grub without having to sacrifice nutrition or taste.

“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. 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.”

Sainsbury’s Nourish the Nation programme, in partnership with Comic Relief, aims to tackle food poverty by helping people access the balanced, nutritional, and sustainable food they need, right now and in the future. This includes funding organisations that focus on helping those on the edge of food poverty to maintain their independence and dignity, preventing them from reaching crisis point.

Over the course of its twenty-five-year partnership with Comic Relief, Sainsbury’s has raised more than £170m, 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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