Own-label showcase: M&S Plant Kitchen

first_imgOrganic Super FirmTofuRsp: £2.50M&S says: Organic tofu. Dirty FriesRsp: £3M&S says: Fried potato chips in tomato and vegan bechamel sauce, topped with a grated coconut oil-based alternative to cheese. Vegan Potato SaladRsp: £1.50M&S says: Potatoes in a vegan mayonnaise-style dressing with onions and herbs. Rainbow Veg Sushi WrapRsp: £2.30M&S says: Avocado, sweet potato, pickled turmeric mooli and pickled red cabbage with a ginger, chilli and coriander dressing, wrapped in a cooked rice and dried seaweed roll with black sesame seeds. Mexican SupergrainsRsp: £3M&S says: Rice, black beans, quinoa and pumpkin seeds with a sweetcorn and chipotle chilli dip. Cauliflower PopcornRsp: £3M&S says: Deep-fried battered cauliflower pieces with a pot of spicy chilli dip. Mushroom PieRsp: £2M&S says: Shortcrust pastry pie with chestnut, white and portobello mushroom and gravy filling. No Chic’n Chunks and No Meat MinceRsp: Both £2M&S says: No Chic’n Chunks are gluten and meat-free chunks made with seasoned soya protein and No Meat Mince is gluten and meat-free mince made with seasoned soya protein.center_img Moroccan Lentil StewRsp: £3M&S says: Spiced dates, aubergines, carrots and red peppers with lentils and chickpeas. Beet BurgerRsp: £2.50M&S says: Two chickpea, beetroot, green lentil and onion seasoned vegan burgers with rice and carrots. Cashew MacRsp: £3M&S says: Cooked pasta and roasted mushrooms in cashew nut and mustard sauce, topped with paprika crumb. Expert verdict: Jennifer Pardoe, Plant Based to BusinessWhat do you think?With the number of flexitarians growing annually it’s been a long time coming for M&S to step up its plant-based game. M&S is known for innovative, quality food with their own twists, and not for hopping on the bandwagon of every urban food trend. Considering plant-based eating is more of a ‘dietary shift’ than ‘minor trend’, why did it take so long? Quality can’t be rushed, it seems. The timing, however, of Plant Kitchen’s launch couldn’t have been more perfect: during the double whammy of January’s consumer focus on healthier eating combined with the growing campaign of Veganuary. Also, the choice of celebrity endorsements on the shelf talkers has not gone unnoticed. Paddy McGuiness – who knew?Is the range interesting?I love that no one at M&S has deemed that eating plant-based must always be about rainbow colours, light-as-a-feather portions, or virtuous healthy eating 365 days a year.There’s clear division of uber-healthy versus fast food. There are beet burgers and falafels for the healthy weekdays, and ’fun, street food-style’ eats you might have for a weekly treat, such as the Dirty Fries, Cauliflower Popcorn and Mac N’ Cheese. There’s a raft of more traditional staples and sides such as spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, mushroom pie, margherita pizza, potato salad and coleslaw – and there are three healthier reliable ready meals: Thai Green Curry, Roasted Aubergine, and Mushroom Stronganoff with Cauli Rice. There’s something for everyone.What does this tell us about the wider own-label strategy?By investing in a fully-fledged plant-based development, accompanied by perfectly positioned naming and branding, M&S has reasserted its strengths in own-label and has justified the time lag behind competitors. The focus remains on quality, and being in control of guiding and delighting its customers with innovation. Notably, Plant Kitchen is also free from black plastic packaging, using more widely recyclable trays, as well as foil trays and cardboard boxes. How does it stack up against other own-label vegan ranges?Plant Kitchen feels more hearty, grown-up and accomplished. It’s worth the wait. Competitors have either taken an uber-healthy route or they have rushed products to the shelves and left flavour as an afterthought.Also, there is an oversupply of vegan shepherd’s pies and curries under third party brands and M&S has now proven they are a force to be reckoned with.I’d only improve upon the sandwich range, but cold vegetables between bread is a hard sell. I’m sure the product developers will be working on proper meat and cheese alternative sandwiches, given the main ingredient suppliers are soon to obtain their necessary BRC accreditations.Finally, to the one major flaw in Plant Kitchen, which I do hope I don’t need to wait another year for: what’s for pudding? Marks & Spencer kicked off Veganuary by launching a 60-strong vegan own-brand range called Plant Kitchen. The range comprises a number of fresh meals, salads, snacks and ingredients including vegan coleslaws and potato salad – which it claims are high street firsts. To offer deeper insight into the range, we’ve selected 13 of the new products to highlight what they are, what they’re competing against and what they tell us about Marks & Spencer’s wider own-brand strategy. This time, expert analysis is from Plant Based to Business co-founder Jennifer Pardoe. This showcase is part of a new series of articles examining key trends and developments in own-label and has been introduced to support The Grocer Own-Label Accreditation Scheme. Under this new scheme, all the products we review can apply for accreditation at any time, through a programme of continuous consumer testing and approval developed to help retailers and suppliers promote the best own-label products. Find out more here.You might be interested in our other own-label showcases – we’ve recently analysed M&S ready-to-drink cocktails, Amazon’s private-label brands, Waitrose Cooks’ Ingredients range and Aldi’s disruptive Lacura beauty range.,No Chic’n NuggetsRsp: £2.50M&S says: Soya-based nuggets coated in a gluten-free crumb. Plant-based decoded: The Grocer to host free webinarlast_img read more

Governor Wolf’s GreenGov Council to Begin Analysis of State Agency Green Practices

first_img Environment,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Today, the Wolf Administration announced that the interagency GreenGov Council will begin its analysis of state agencies’ energy savings and sustainability strategies, taking steps towards fulfilling the climate change goals laid out in Governor Wolf’s executive order.“Commonwealth government has a responsibility to take action to reduce our carbon footprint and focus on the most effective ways we can improve our energy efficiency, protect the environment and generate cost-savings,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “The GreenGov Council will play a pivotal role in coordinating the efforts of our state agencies and keeping them committed to our energy efficiency goals.”Co-chaired by, the Departments of General Services (DGS), Environmental Protection (DEP), and Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the council has developed the GreenGov Agency Checklist to assess agencies’ efforts to develop and implement energy saving and sustainability strategies. The survey will be used annually to evaluate progress and achievements toward using fewer resources, which reduces carbon emissions and saves taxpayer dollars.“This is all about using our resources wisely, whether it is electricity, water, gasoline, or money,” said DGS Secretary Curt Topper. “Every time a commonwealth agency saves electricity or water or fuel it is saving taxpayer dollars as well.”The survey consists of the performance categories of: Benchmarking and Evaluation; Buildings and Structures; Transportation; Products and Materials; Culture; Renewable Energy; and Resilience. All state agencies under the governor’s jurisdiction will be required to complete the survey, establishing performance measures and strategies to achieve certification in the GreenGov program. Plans are to have the survey fully finalized and presented to the agencies for completion in the first week of December. Once the data is collected, agency results will be shared with the public on the website in the first quarter of 2020.Governor Wolf established the council in January as part of Executive Order 2019-01, which sets ambitious statewide emission reduction goals to slow down climate change in Pennsylvania: a 26 percent reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 (from 2005 levels). In July, Mark Hand was appointed to serve as the director of the GreenGov Council.The governor charged state agencies with leading by example in energy efficiency, emissions reduction, and green energy jobs creation. The GreenGov Council will develop, guide, and coordinate actions across state agencies to meet the following performance goals:• Reduce overall energy consumption by 3 percent per year, and 21 percent by 2025, as compared to 2017 levels.• Replace 25 percent of the state passenger car fleet with battery electric and plug-in electric hybrid cars by 2025.• Procure renewable energy to offset at least 40 percent of the commonwealth’s annual electricity use.“Electricity generation and transportation are the two biggest sources of carbon emissions in Pennsylvania,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “In the 2018 Pennsylvania Climate Action Plan, DEP identifies many actions government agencies can take in these two areas to reduce energy use, adopt renewable energy options, and lower emissions. Incorporating these into a standardized assessment across state agencies will enable us to have the greatest collective impact toward slowing climate change.”“DCNR has made sizable strides in reducing its carbon footprint and reducing energy costs at the same time and we’re eager to help other agencies realize similar outcomes,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. “We’re leading the way with 16 high performance buildings that spend at least 30 percent fewer dollars on energy than code-minimum facilities, the addition of six solar arrays on public lands in the past two years, and the installation of 40 electric vehicle charging stations in state parks and forests for use by visitors.”For more information, visit the recently launched GreenGov Council subsite, a one-stop-shop for green government activities. Governor Wolf’s GreenGov Council to Begin Analysis of State Agency Green Practices SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img October 22, 2019last_img read more