Iceland paper bags

Source: Iceland

Labelling will be introduced to signpost the plastic-free products among the rest of Iceland’s Christmas ranges

Iceland is to offer shoppers a ‘plastic-free Christmas’ with a range packaged only using alternative materials such as paper and cardboard.

In a move that echoes its ‘palm oil-free Christmas’ campaign of last year, the frozen food specialist will offer a range designed to fully cater for the festive period, but without plastic.

Main courses are to include a roast-in-the-bag turkey crown. In the past the bag has been plastic but for Christmas 2019 it will be paper.

“For me it was important it wasn’t just a token selection,” Iceland MD Richard Walker told The Grocer. “So whilst it’s fairly limited in number - about 30 lines - you can have the full Christmas day by choosing these products from cheese to starters, trimmings etcetera.”

New labelling will be introduced to signpost the plastic-free products among the rest of Iceland’s Christmas ranges.

“It won’t be badged up in one specific area [in store] because it’s in different temperature bands around the store, but everything will be labelled,” said Walker.

The plastic-free range is expected to be a theme of Iceland’s Christmas marketing campaign, just as the palm oil-free range was central to last year’s, gaining more than 70 million online views.

However, Walker said of last year’s ad, which used Greenpeace’s ‘Rang-tan’ film about palm oil deforestation: “We’ve taken quite a conscious view that we can never emulate Rang-tan, so we shouldn’t try to.”

The plastic-free Christmas range follows Iceland’s commitment at the beginning of 2018 to remove plastic from all own-label lines by 2023.

Speaking to The Grocer as Iceland showcased its Christmas range to media in London this week, Walker praised Stuart Lendrum, formerly Sainsbury’s head of sustainable sourcing and since March Iceland’s head of packaging, for his work on the Christmas range.

“It’s probably testament really to Stuart,” he said.

“We have a pretty robust plan in place now in terms of mapping out the next four years and dealing with different products, different categories.

“Hopefully, this will be a good kick-start into 2020.”