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Hubbub & M&S collaborate to spark more sustainable eating

News | Published  7 January 2022
M&S and Hubbub have launched Sparking Change: The Challenge to support M&S customers to live healthier, more sustainable lives. This builds on the impact and learning from a pilot of the campaign we ran last year.

M&S and Hubbub have launched Sparking Change: The Challenge to support M&S customers to live healthier, more sustainable lives. This builds on the impact and learning from a pilot of the campaign we ran last year.

Sparking Change will run for two months. It’ll start with Protein from Plants, providing recipes, tips and inspiration to help people to double the plants in their diet and eat less and better meat and dairy. Then, it’s all about More Taste, Less Waste, helping people save money on their grocery shopping and reducing their food waste.



Learning from our 2021 pilot to increase the impact

We initially ran Sparking Change: The Challenge as a 12-week household trial with over 90 customers and colleagues in 2021 to explore healthier diets that are great for the environment and budgets too. The results provided encouragement and understanding of how to bring this opportunity to more M&S customers.

The pilot spanned encouraging more plant-based eating, reducing food waste and scratch and seasonal cooking. We started with an insight phase to explore habits, concerns and knowledge before responding with a series of inspiring activities to help the participants make sustainable and healthy changes.

Three months on, we asked a large sample of the participants whether any new habits had stuck. They told us that:  

90% were eating less meat.
90% were wasting less food.
73% were cooking from scratch more.
70% were feeling healthier.

40% of participants said they were saving money on their weekly shopping and 73% said that their homes were more sustainable too. 



Mark Breen, Senior Creative Partner at Hubbub said: 

"Our collaboration with M&S aims to help people from across the UK to make simple changes, such as how to cook fantastic plant-based meals. It’s easy and enjoyable to take part. We’ll help M&S customers to explore how eating sustainably is a great way to do our bit for the environment, save some cash and even feel a little healthier.

The pilot campaign results suggest a strong appetite for clear information and support on sustainable diets. As the Eating Better roadmap highlights, M&S, along with other trusted food businesses, are in a great position to help their customers make the change that is needed."

Here are some of the ingredients that contributed to the pilot’s success and have helped shape the behaviour change campaign.

1. Keeping it simple 

Sparking Change: The Challenge was designed by experts from chefs to nutritionists. However, all the information was shared in accessible, playful language and delivered in bite sized chunks. The group responded brilliantly to simple, jargon free information, and tips to help them save food and try new things safely and with confidence.  

2. Highlight the positives

Health, finances and quality time at home are near universal concerns. The pilot highlighted additional benefits to eating more sustainably from potential savings on weekly grocery bills to feeling fitter. The participants also welcomed a chance to introduce new foods to their children and take on our family-friendly challenges as a team. 

3. Bring people together 

Whether in person or online, bringing people together towards a common goal is a powerful tool. The Sparking Change cohort met up every day on a friendly Facebook group to share successes and trade tips. We saw as much information flow between participants as from the experts leading the campaign, and there was plenty of competition and mutual support. Working with a group in this way creates a sense of being part of something bigger than individual action. The level of personal interaction seen in the pilot won’t be possible as we scale, but we are looking to replicate elements of it through social media, particularly user generated content.

4. Work with trusted messengers 

M&S is a trusted brand in the UK and most supermarkets are viewed positively by the British public. As the climate crisis worsens, many people are seeking information on how reduce the impact of their diets. Our partnership with M&S demonstrates that retailers and food businesses are in a unique position to help households make the change that is needed, fast. 

Sparking Change is a great fit with M&S’ sustainability ambitions, recently bolstered by the reset of Plan A.

We invite you to dig into the findings in the campaign’s impact report and get in touch if this model is of interest to your business. 

Find out more here - https://www.marksandspencer.com/c/food-to-order/not-just-any-food/food-news/sparking-change

Or drop Hubbub a line if you’d like to collaborate to support people to eat more sustainably – hello@hubbub.org.uk