Main own plant-based brands
- Around 56% of M&S’s annual revenues are linked to food sales. According to company reported data, around one third of their customers shop for meat, fish or poultry on a weekly basis. The company has said that 17% of their value chain emissions are linked to animal agriculture. While the company has a small market share in food retail in the UK, relative to its peers, its revenues are significantly exposed to animal proteins.
- M&S demonstrates a proactive approach, both towards addressing the risks of animal protein sourcing (through its Farming for the Future programme) as well as through an expanding selection of own-brand plant-based ready meals.
- The company leads its peers in terms of building a more strategic approach through publicly stated targets and the reporting of metrics (not yet formalised) that have the potential to form the basis of a more strategic approach to protein diversification. While these targets are not perfect, they are a step in the right direction.
- While the company has invested in marketing its plant-based range, we believe there is an opportunity to build their consumer engagement activities by encouraging swaps from animal protein to alternative proteins, broadening the number of plant-based products across different meal categories, etc.
- Overall, we would encourage M&S to continue to build on its current work towards a more strategic plan to transition its product portfolio (through, for example, category-based targets) to ensure any exposure to animal proteins is in line with a low-carbon strategy.
We fully appreciate the importance of sustainable diets for the future of our food business. We have 3 priority focus areas that we are working on to make improvements to M&S Food Sustainability at the moment – Plastic, Food Waste and Sustainable Diet and are undergoing a major piece of research to help us define this and build our strategy. We will be able to share more with investors in the Autumn. In the meantime, the plant kitchen range has been a major success which highlights customer demand for these types of products. Plant kitchen has been a success across most of our categories: food on the move, ready meals and grocery; we believe the holistic approach has helped provide solutions for multiple customers.