M&S Food’s new 'Innovation Hub' to galvanise vegan food and sustainability trends | Totally Vegan Buzz

M&S Food’s new ‘Innovation Hub’ to galvanise vegan food and sustainability trends

M&S Food’s new 'Innovation Hub' to galvanise vegan food and sustainability trends
Image: Marks and Spencer

The new team will go live in January 2021 and will work with technology partners to develop new food lines as well as address sustainability issues that span the industry.

Marks & Spencer is working out a new strategy to capitalize the vegan food industry.

The upmarket retailer has announced the launch of an Innovation Hub, which is going to “galvanise emerging trends, consumer insight and the latest technology,” to help M&S Food spearhead sustainability solutions.

Launching in January 2021, the Hub will comprise a specialist team focusing on developing sustainable food products and addressing some of the biggest sector-wide challenges.

M&S Food new 'Innovation Hub' to galvanise vegan food and sustainability trends
Image: Willy Barton / shutterstock.com

‘Being more relevant’

The nine-strong team spanning packaging, nutrition, product innovation, and business development will be led by former head of food technology Dom Darby and include existing M&S experts. The team will also recruit new talent to drive the ‘food transformation’.

 “Creating a dedicated team with the sole purpose of driving disruptive innovation will support us in being more relevant to our customers,” M&S Food managing director Stuart Machin said.

‘Responding to our customers’ needs’

He added: “But it’s not just about relevancy today; the Innovation Hub will enable us to track emerging trends and insights, so we’re one step ahead in responding to our customers’ needs in the future. 

“The team will play a key role in helping us to build an even bigger and better food range and show customers that we’re taking action to address the sustainability issues they care about most – so that our actions today protect the planet for tomorrow.”

New innovative food solutions

While the Hub’s research will include soya-alternative proteins for plant-based foods, it will also team up with other food technology-led businesses.

The retailer has announced its first partnership with vegan protein supplier 3F Bio to develop and innovate its existing Plant Kitchen range.

M&S currently has an 18.5% market share of plant-based food ranges.

M&S Food will use the Glasgow- based company’s mycoprotein ABUNDA- an innovative protein entity made from a natural fungus and produced using a zero-waste process.  

3F Bio’s technological expertise results in an end product with a meat-like texture that is high in both protein and fibre.


“We are delighted about this collaboration with Marks and Spencer,” 3F Bio’s commercial director Andrew Beasley said.

“We are hugely excited by the application possibilities of mycoprotein. ABUNDA mycoprotein is a fermented food ingredient.

“And it is truly special. Not only because we can make delicious foods with it, but because it is also sustainable, healthy, and nutritious.”

Reduce plastic packaging

The Innovation Hub will also focus on packaging, helping M&S Food’s mission to reduce, reuse and recycle plastic after releasing its plastic plan earlier this year.

The company said it has already slashed more than 2,000 tonnes of black plastic from its supply chain.

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