Piccolo stage 1 lifestyle

Source: Piccolo

Piccolo’s range of smooth purée and textured meals has rolled into 560 M&S stores

Marks & Spencer has overhauled its babyfood offer, delisting the entire Ella’s Kitchen range in favour of lines by smaller rival Piccolo.

The move comes just under five years after M&S made the surprise move of axing its entire range of own-label babyfood, replacing it with Ella’s in spring 2018. 

The Hain Celestial brand confirmed with The Grocer its products had been delisted by M&S, but declined to provide further details.

“Branded products make up a very small part of our food offering and are used in emerging or lower volume areas, such as babyfood,” said a spokeswoman for the retailer.

“We regularly review all our ranges and have been working with Piccolo since May last year.”

The brand confirmed it was M&S’s “exclusive baby pouch supplier”, marking “an important shift in the category”.

“This will also be an opportunity for M&S to bring in more young families to their consumer base,” it said.

Piccolo’s range of smooth purée and textured meals has so far rolled into 560 M&S stores nationwide – more than half of its UK estate.

Lines include the likes of Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese Stage 2 130g; Pear, Banana, Coconut Milk & Baby Rice 100g; and Garden Vegetable Three Grain Risotto Stage 2 130g.

Such recipes illustrated Piccolo’s “greater focus on products driven by nutrition derived from nature, that are sustainably sourced and have a variety of recyclable options”, the brand said.

Founder Cat Gazzoli added it was “amazing” to have M&S backing Piccolo “on our goal to offer more parents nutrient-rich options”.

It comes after Ella’s was called out by an Action on Sugar report in November 2022 for adding “worrying levels of sugars” to breakfast foods intended for infants and toddlers.

At the time, a spokeswoman for the brand said it took “sugar reduction very seriously” and had already “introduced lower-sugar products to reduce the average sugar content of our range”.