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It was only a couple of months ago when Iceland announced its commitment to remove plastic packagingfrom own brand products. Last week, the frozen food retailer followed up a number of recent action plans with a new commitment: to remove palm oil from all of its own-brand food products by the end of 2018.

It is the first such pledge to be made by a major UK supermarket. It is an impressive commitment, if you consider that according to the grocier palm oil is used in more than half of its products. These products range diversely, from biscuits to soap. The company also claimed that, with the policy, it could see a drop in palm oil demand by as much as 500 tonnes per year.

Richard Walker, Managing Director, reflects on the announcement:

Considering the fact that the world is designed around palm oil, people told us that removing it simply wouldn’t be possible – not only would it require redesigning recipes, but also changing manufacturing lines. Well, our world-class chefs and technicians have worked tirelessly on product reformulation, whilst maintaining the same quality and taste in all products. This has taken thousands of hours over the last 18 months to achieve.

Up until now customers have had no say in the matter. Yet we surveyed 5,000 consumers, and found that 85% of them do not want palm oil in their products. For the first time consumers shopping in a UK supermarket will now have a choice.

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