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Browsing Posts tagged tesco

With the average UK household said to be wasting £60 in food every month tesco have introduced measures to cut down on their own food waste by launching a community food connection program which donates surplus food from their stores to local charities, alongside this they are introducing “perfectly imperfect” ranges to take more fruit and veg from their suppliers which wouldn’t fit the normal standards, but essentially is a replacement for the value ranges rebranded and perhaps repriced.

Of course this doesn’t reduce the fact that households waste so much food on average, instead that would come down to changing the way you shop and the way you use the food in your household, where various suggestions are made, through a leftovers tool where you can look up recipe’s to use the leftovers in your fridge rather than allowing them to go to waste, along with recipe’s at lovefoodhatewaste which has been launched to help waste less.

I received vouchers to try the perfectly imperfect fruit range with apples and pears currently available but these would change throughout the year with whatever fruit and veg they have growing which would have imperfect options, along with a voucher to try the eat fresh, keep fresh chicken range at £2.50

Perfectly Imperfect Range

The perfectly imperfect range is fruit and vegetable products which may just be off shape or a little small or large, but could have other imperfections too. It would seem they are a replacement for the tesco value range by another name, and as such varieties in the fruit and veg would vary from week to week depending on what products are available at that time to tesco to fill the range, and these would not last all year but be very seasonal, however while they’re there you can get necessary fruit and vegetable fulfillment at a reasonable price.

Finding the products proved to be rather difficult, and while staff would promise a new delivery every day if you went in 4 time in a week and a half like I did they never had a single delivery, and staff will use the go to “there’s a delivery tomorrow” without actually checking if the range is coming in or not as the products never got refilled, I ended up having to resort to talking to tesco’s twitter account to get help sourcing the product as even though deliveries were stated it never arrived either, and I got sent to another store which had some in stock, price may also seem to vary from store to store as my store stated 70p for the apples but I got them for 60p in the store I went to where they were in stock.

The range is fine, and when I worked at festivals the fruit would often be gala apples much the same as those in the perfectly imperfect range, and the conference pears look perfectly fine to me, maybe they don’t have noble shoulders but that doesn’t matter and eating them it’s simply that these fruits haven’t aged properly, there’s no pips inside, but once they’ve ripened and gone softer they taste perfectly fine, and if you’re into hard pears you’ve got them off the bat! All in all the range is perfectly fine, and the fact is other than looks you’re really going to get the same product at a cheaper rate, maybe you might have to peel the fruit and remove the imperfections if there are nips in the flesh, but that’s minor and you’re likely to get that in most instances anyway.

Eat Fresh, Keep Fresh Chicken

The “eat fresh, keep fresh” chicken range contains 300g of chicken which is more expensive than the willow farms range which is £1.89 for the same amount of chicken, the only variation is that both breasts are together in the willow farms where the tesco keep fresh range has two separate compartments, but at nearly 60p extra this probably isn’t ideal. With the 60p extra you could buy some clingfilm to wrap the second breast and this would last hundreds of packs not just one, and at nearly 25% off for exactly the same product it seems a rather wasteful range, especially if most people would cook both breasts together if they’re having a meal with a partner, and single people can store the other breast fine without it’s own vacuum sealed pack, unless they’re really silly and leave it uncovered several days straight, or even out of the fridge but that’s their own fault then and a lack of common sense in consumers doesn’t justify such expensive packaging options which is actually very wasteful in terms of product packaging.

Cooking the product itself it is an inferior chicken breast also, as it has a lot of added water. because the juices coming from the breast when cooked on the george forman grill were mostly water, having cooked a lot of meats and chicken on the grill I know the fluids that come from these and this was very watery, also when cooked the flavour was missing and it was a very disappointing product, you can definitely find chicken which hasn’t been pumped with preservatives and water as much as this for a better price, and at £8.34 a kilo you expect unmessed with chicken not something that is inflated with water to make more profits. (For reference beef brisket on the counter is £8 a kilo or you can get pork for significantly less) I just found the chicken very disappointing, and is probably the worst chicken I’ve ever had.

Another thing I would change is that the skin is removed, with such a product if the skin was left on the breast it could easily be removed if someone didn’t want it but those who like the skin it’d be nice to have it included, but if as it seems the chicken has been inflated with added water injected then it’d be a flag saying hey this is so much bigger than the skin so you can see why they’ve had to remove it, but a nice piece of crispy skin on the breast is very nice, and if the “added water” is supposed to keep it moist, that’s the job the skin would do, keeping the moist breast during cooking and leaving a very tasty crispy outer layer, and I know a lot of people don’t know just how good a salted crispy chicken skin is, it’s chicken crackling and it’s very good. (just keep an eye out some celebrity chef will eventually steal the idea when they realize how good it is)

Reduced To Clear

One way tesco reduce the amount they waste is reducing products to clear so they’re cheaper and affordable with those who cannot afford to pay full retail, the problem with this comes two-fold in some instances the shelves contain out of date products not reduced more than 25% as they wont reduce the full range, and the other major problem comes in the fact that the price reductions occur at the same time every day and in my local store there’s a group of 6 women that act like piranha’s and block the isle with their trolleys and take absolutely everything that the assistant reduces to 80% every single day (quoted by the staff at the tesco store I visited) not only do they block the isles but if you do get past to look at the reduced produce, they will try to push you out and then grab and hold every single product to hold onto and pass to the assistant so nobody else gets reduced to clear produce.

Now I’m not suggesting reducing to clear is a bad thing because there are a lot of things I would rely upon reduced in order to live, it just needs a little reform where people every single day with entire trolleys of reduced products are clearly either selling on or wasting all of that food, which goes against the food waste scheme, as if they’re taking so much home simply because it’s cheap just to waste it this isn’t good. The other problem is that some ranges such as the ready meals and meat don’t seem to get reduced and get ignored so much so that on the 6 visits I made in short succession over a few weeks trying to get the apples at various times on 3 occasions I found out of date products in the stores ( and in my own personal shopping I keep coming across out of date products in tesco not reduced below 25% and that’s why they go unsold, sure they might go to charities but people would buy them to use and not want to rely upon the charities if they got reduced enough to actually sell)

The reforms I would suggest would be not to take products off the shelf to leave unreduced or even reduced at a small ammount of 5-10%, instead starting off at 25% the night before at the same time everything is reduced 80% save a job by doing it all together. There are people who would then buy it at 25%, with at least an extra day on the range, then in the morning/noonish it could be reduced to 40-50% and then later reduced to the 80-90% savings. I can guarantee some ranges get skipped as I have even gone in an hour before the store closed and asked the staff at the reduced section if the products were getting reduced any further and they were not, and this was one of the occasions where there were out of date products on the reduced to clear, and most of the range was only 25% off which was not good, and with discounters in the area offering similar products at much cheaper than even those reduced to clear prices it becomes a hard sell for those who are price savy and shop around.

Who is to say how the reduced to clear range may change with the new system, perhaps more ranges won’t get reduced because they will be passed onto charities, but in that instance tesco really are wasting more food, sure it’s going to charities but when there are people who would buy just what they would eat without wasting it if it was reduced to a price they could afford then reform might need to be done to ensure everything gets reasonably reduced so more gets sold, because surely it’s better to sell than to simply pass the buck to charities to seem like nothing is getting wasted.

What Can You Do To Reduce Waste Yourself?

The main reform which would need to occur is with yourself when you are shopping, if you are one of those wasting anything close to £60 of food every month you might want to think about what you are buying, do you need it, will you eat it? Will it go to waste? How much have you already got in your fridge going to waste? And if you’re reduced to clear shopping don’t take the entire shelf just because it is cheap, just take a few things some treats and some essentials and only what you know wont get wasted. Be kind and polite so other shoppers can also take advantage of the reductions, and in turn you might notice there are products left for you on other days too rather than a mad rush to grab everything in a sea of piranha munching your flesh if you put your arm in the section.

Other than that if you know you have some food which will be going to waste, cook it before it goes off, freeze it, or use a recipe to use it all up and enjoy the food you’ve purchased rather than throwing your money directly into the bin.

I was sent a voucher for tesco meat products in order to put up my opinion’s of selected by tesco wine’s but I didn’t receive any discount off the wine perhaps for a variety of reasons, partially from the government changes which have been implemented to “prevent” cheap alcohol being sold, which far from preventing drinking problems just makes alcohol more expensive in the lower quality end of the market and those with drinking problems will still have those issues and spend whatever the cost to maintain the habit. So as always www.drinkaware.co.uk and stay responsible.

In store you wouldn’t get a lot of the information put in the campaign with food suggestions and pairings or any highlight on the selected by tesco wines, and regardless of the sales and promotional side perhaps if the wine section selected food pairings (as part of the responsible theme being portrayed of enjoying with a meal) on the shelves along the wine this might encourage people to try the suggested accompaniments, however in store you would not know anything special about the new range as they are hard to spot on the shelves and hard to spot on the bottles, supposedly to make pricing easier despite clearly not being the case shelf wide as other wines remain on promotion and with money off so only the selected by tesco range of usually cheaper wines avoids being put on further promotion and I do question heavily the true nature of the change.

The selected by tesco labeling is rather well hidden on the wine, not highlighted and easily spotted, and amongst other wines on the shelves it can be hard to find the particular bottles in the range, and the price variation is definitely not any different to existing products, so claims it is perhaps somewhere between full retail and discounted for convenience all year round seems incorrect as it is simply full retail all year and never discounted ever again while more expensive wines may be discounted to this price range and give a better quality of wine.

Something else you wouldn’t know by simply purchasing off the shelf is that all the wines are taste tested and selected by the master of wines james davis, however tasting the £4 merlot I purchased heavy in tannin and very inferior it is hard to see how this was “specially selected” amongst merlot’s to be sold on the shelf as the best tesco could offer and specifically selected by tesco to be sold for around £4 when I have tasted much better merlot’s for £4 with no tannin ready to drink and of a good quality.

The recommendations listed in this campaign for a sunday roast are a rioja reserva at £6.50 for red meat and an australian chardonnay for £3.95 for chicken, which may have been reasonable suggestions however with my own studies of wines and spirits with an intermediate WSET wine tasting certification which involved tasting a lot of wines and champagnes both high end and low I can safely identify the qualities of wines as well as know what foods to pair with which wines and I would always recommend a merlot with red meat dishes, whether a roast or a steak even though a rioja is adept and as a reserva and knowing the quality of their merlot perhaps it was a better suggestion out of the two wines, but going in blind I would’ve found a better merlot if I was tesco’s master of wines!

So not receiving a discount on the wine I chose a £5 meat voucher out of the choices, and cooked up a roast dinner with a tesco counter brisket and the making of this will be over at wackykitchen.co.uk The other choices were tesco cheeses, where the wine recommended is a bordeux superior again no mention of this on the shelves near the wine nor the cheese selection. The tesco party food selection suggests an australian shiraz £3.95, and a rose zinfandel £4.50

The blurb that prices are being simplified rather than half price promotions seems a little stale when prices vary so much ranging from £3.95, £4 products to £4.50 £6 etc etc so rather than being simplified it seems that all the wines tend to have their own prices and do not pertain to the quality of the wine, as you will be getting a cheap tasting wine, in the case of the merlot at the very least as this was definitely a bottom of the range wine that needed perhaps another year or two aging to remove the tannin and to open up the flavours as it was very bitter and hard to identify any flavours behind the tannin, perhaps if this was decanted for a week it would be drinkable but freshly opened it lacked the quality I expected for something seemingly “selected” especially for tesco by wine tasting experts, which again you could get a £6-8 merlot often discounted to £4 of significantly better quality than this, there seems to be no noticeable saving and simplification, instead this is a fully retailed £4 wine which really should be discounted to possibly £2.50 to be of any noticeable value and my recommendation would be to look for the wine discounted to £4 from a higher price which will be the good quality ready to drink merlot with good flavour.

It does state that perhaps the selected by tesco wine range will make it easier to make your selection and this may be the case, that you avoid the selected by tesco range and look for a better quality wine discounted, as often the discounted merlot which is reduced to £4 will be noticeably better than the full retail merlot of £4.

The meat counter brisket however was good quality and definitely recommended, I just wish the wine was as the quality is stated to be and not the tannin filled disappointment it turned out to be as anyone unfamiliar with merlot would buy this once taste it and think never again simply because this was released far too soon and utterly bitter with tannin.

I received a voucher to try products from the tesco finest party food selection for review, and along with a 3 for 2 discount I got a major price reduction on the food selected to try.

The tesco finest party food range was all designed to cook at the same temperature and be easy to heat up with minimal effort for party food over the seasonal christmas holidays and parties in general. Located on the shelves next to tesco’s regular range of party food in very similar packages it perhaps wasn’t ideal for choosing items in the same discounted range but for a shopper wishing to choose their party food for the holidays the entire selection was available in one convenient location.

Although there was a selection noted on the website to try I found the range in store had other products not mentioned whilst also finding it impossible to seek out some of those nicer products which were stated to be in the range.

•Tesco finest* Posh Pigs in Blankets
A pork sausage with cinnamon and ginger coated in a port and cranberry glaze, wrapped crispy bacon.*
•Tesco finest* Bourbon Beef Waffles
8 mini Belgium waffles topped with shredded Aberdeen Angus beef, Bourbon BBQ sauce and medium Cheddar cheese*
•Tesco finest* Mini Steak Pies*
Mini pies with beef and a cornish ale gravy in crispy pastry.*
•Tesco finest* Butterfly Prawn Selection with a Mango Dipping Sauce
King prawns coated in coconut and black & white sesame seed crumbs.*
•Tesco finest* Thai Chicken Curry Pastries
Pastry pockets filled with green Thai chicken curry, or Panang chicken curry with lemongrass.*
•Tesco finest* Oriental Selection
A selection of ready to eat oriental snacks, prawn and coconut spring rolls, chicken satay cones and Mussaman crouton bites.*
•Tesco finest* Mini Strawberry Trifles
Strawberry sauce, diced strawberry, sponge cubes with vanilla mousse topped with freeze dried strawberry*
•Tesco finest* Lemon Sherbet bites
Mini cheesecake with biscuit base, lemon cheesecake topped with sherbert dust.*
•Tesco finest* Swiss Chocolate Truffle profiteroles
Swiss chocolate truffle mousse in choux pastry, topped with a swiss chocolate sauce with “gold sparkled” butterscotch pieces.*

The majority of this list was impossible to find in store, especially the frozen and sweet treats, only finding the pigs in blankets, a selection of differing prawn based products, the oriental selection, an indian selection pack and some crispy chicken skewers.

Obviously there were some products I would have tried had I been able to find then however the variation in the finest range in the store I visited was lacking choosing to only have traditional party fare along with the oriental and indian selections lacking the choices in varied party foods, this could be a sign of the area however being stagnant full of old people set in their ways unwilling to try new and different food styles and only including the oriental and indian selections for natives in the area.

The products I took were very tasty although the indian party food seemed to be rather toned down unless you dipped the products in the included sauce which doesn’t seem very indian as usually all of their food is filled to the brim with flavours and sensations, and for the most part the combination required the sauces in order to get the full indian flavour. The chicken skewers I took also had a very good crispy coating far beyond what you would find in most fried chicken and with the ease of cooking is a definite recommendation and would be perfect to dip into any of your usual dipping sauces you could include with a party selection or to eat separately on their own.

Now ideally as this was purchased to be used as party food where it would provide something of extra sustenance rather than the usual selection of cheese and crackers, sweets, crisps and nuts and even provide something warm and satisfying as a variation. I would even state that these would be fine to eat cooled down after cooking however my mother set in her ways didn’t wish to have these on the christmas table after everything instead choosing to just lay out a selection of the usual cold snacks, so I had these on a separate occasion, but it’s the thought that counts right? I personally thought these were an ideal small nibble selection to put out on the table for those who want a little warm treat and something more wholesome than simple snacks and something very tasty that would fit perfectly on a party selection table, this is also the reason I didn’t take the oriental selection even though it looked tasty I wanted to go for something which would be warmed and offer variation, not that if I’dve taken those they would’ve been included as they were too different for my mother to include on the table.

All in all the party food range is very tasty and ideal for party situations and with 3 for 2 often better in price than the regular party food, or competitors counterparts which will be lower in quality and flavour.

Parts of this video are pre christmas where the deadline stated 5 days (with the same number of days til christmas) however visiting the next day while still preparing this it stated 34 days so priorities got reshuffled, apologies to the lateness of the review being that christmas is over, however these are ideal for any party, including the chinese new year, birthdays or even easter, any excuse for a party.

* All product names and descriptions adapted from tesco orchard as they are relevant to the review, to show the range stated and products which could not be found, their direct descriptions are not used as they desire to hold the “marketed” terms under federal trade commission regulations and as a result the products are described but without using their buzz terms. As this is used in a review this fulfills fair use statutes.

I was sent a voucher to get £4 of fish from the tesco orchard, and decided to use it only on the fresh fish counter although I could have used it on any fish in the store, and see what the counter had to offer and just how fresh the produce was.

My idea initially was to find fish to use to create sushi with some sushi wrappers to make your own which you could purchase in store, however it was quickly established by the counter operative that the fish was not fresh enough for this purpose (and you could see that even though it was stored on ice obviously it was not freshly cut to order or of a suitably fresh standard) I then decided to see if they had some sashimi grade salmon, although usually served raw is ideal for lightly toasting, however having a number of varieties of salmon this was sadly lacking from the counter.

Instead I decided to them look what was on offer, along with the usual cod, haddock, several types of salmon I opted instead for the more unusual varieties, firstly trying some manta ray fin, and secondly taking a piece of rainbow trout, where there were two colours white and yellow and I opted for the yellow fleshed variety.

The manta ray fin was very large and essentially came with two portions per fin, although on bones the bones were very large and once cooked easily separated to serve a boneless and tasty white fish, not only was the fish very tasty it also had a very creamy texture while maintaining a familiar white fish cod like flavour. I think this would be a good option for battering and deep frying as not only would it taste a lot like cod but also the creamy texture would lead to a higher flavour retention against the oils coming in during the cooking process and make a very delicious fried fish option which may even be healthier as it would likely minimize the oils being absorbed.

The rainbow trout variety I chose surprised me quite a bit as it tasted like a high quality cooked salmon, which is usually hard to get to this standard even with a high quality cut. As a result this would be an option for anyone wishing to have the high quality salmon flavour with little effort and would also save a lot of money, sure you would have to deal with some bones and a softer flesh which breaks apart easier, but for the convenience and ease of cooking for the same flavour I believe this is a suitable compromise to make

Over all I think it is a little disappointing that the counter isn’t as fresh as it might put accross, had I not asked the counter operative I would have assumed that any fish purchased would have been suitably fresh to make sushi with and possibly risked food poisoning as a result, and the varieties on offer were average, but you can understand that most people would be seeking the “usual range” of cod and haddock and salmons that were displayed, as opposed to seeking something different or special, but there was the manta fin as a little excitement and something different so it also caters a little towards that. I just wish that there was the option to get a truly fresh product if requested, that the fishmonger could cut a fresh fish right then and there suitable for creating sushi with, or freshly cut upon request for those who want a freshly cut slice of fish, while leaving the display for those who wish it and don’t have the truly fresh requirements.

Other than the “fresh” issues the counter is a nice option and good to go to if you want some advice or to try something a little new, and perhaps may be fresher than the shelved produce. Either way you can have a free garlic or chilli butter to cook your fish with so there are bonuses to visiting, and if you like fish I think you should consider looking at the fresh counter first in case something catches your eye.