Sainsbury’s plastic-saving meat packaging attracts ‘mush’ complaints

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New plastic-saving meat packaging at Sainsbury’s has attracted complaints from shoppers that it has turned mince to “mush”.

The supermarket previously packaged mince in a plastic tray covered with film but announced in February it was becoming the first grocer to vacuum pack all beef to save 450 tonnes of plastic a year.

However the move has not gone down well with all shoppers, with some branding the meat “unappetising” and “disgusting” and resembling “someone’s kidney”.

She said: “They’ve sucked all the air out and squashed it so it plopped out of the packet and into the frying pan in a big rectangular clump.

“As I started breaking it up with the wooden spatula it was staying in big balls that were cooking on the outside but not the inside.

“I get that we need to use less plastic. But unless they find an alternative that’s going to work they’re going to lose customers because I shan’t be buying it from there. They need to listen to the feedback.”

Another Sainsbury’s shopper tweeted that he was “not a fan of the new Sainsbury’s beef mince packaging,” adding: “Feels very medical – like I’ve just bought someone’s kidney to cook at home.”

“It’s very hard to cook and smells off, looks very unappetising. Would not recommend.”

Richard Crampton, director of fresh food at Sainsbury’s, said: “We know customers expect us to reduce plastic packaging and we are committed to making bold changes for our customers and the environment.

“This small change makes a big difference, more than halving the plastic used in our beef mince range and also reducing food waste.

“We are always listening to feedback and can see lots of our customers are already getting used to the change.”

Steve Dresser, from retail consultancy Grocery Insight, told the BBC: “It’s fair to say the change has not been well received, at all.”

In February, Sainsbury’s said the vacuum-packed meat would remain fresher as a result of removing all oxygen and take up less space in fridges and freezers despite containing the same amount of mince as before.

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