Consumers, Europe, UK, Ireland, Fresh/ Table, Retail, Trends

UK: M&S sparks fury as it sells pre-cut spuds in eco-unfriendly plastic pouches

It takes just a few seconds – but peeling and cutting up a potato seems to be the latest task too far for today’s time-starved millennials. They are turning their backs on the humble spud and buying pre-sliced potatoes instead.

The easy spuds have appeared for the first time on shelves at M&S – which also sells pre-peeled garlic – after the store’s research showed just two per cent of shoppers wanted to prepare dinner every day, the Daily Mail reports.

The 700g bags of British-grown raw peeled potato cost £2 and are proving popular with younger customers, even though they could pick up a whole kilo of regular potatoes for just £1.20. And they come in plastic pouches labelled ‘not yet recycled’, which means they go into general household waste.

Shane Holland, UK chairman of the Slow Food movement, which promotes traditional cooking, was not impressed. He said: ‘It fits the pattern of us eating more ultra-processed food than any other European nation. More than 50 per cent of the food we eat is highly processed.

‘It’s no surprise to me that stores are selling pre-sliced potato as we increasingly treat food as a commodity to be rushed rather than taking pleasure over.’

An M&S spokesman said the reality was that many people wished to cook from ‘semi-scratch’, adding: ‘They prefer to spend more time relaxing or being with their family than cooking. This cuts corners and helps those people lacking in enthusiasm or experience to try to cook from scratch.’

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