Masterchef SA’s new pantry goes “green”

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VIEWERS watching the latest season of MasterChef SA will have immediately noticed the new and impressive food pantry.

Stocked by this season’s new title sponsor, Pick n Pay, the pantry boasts a strong focus on sustainability including a de-packaged fresh produce offering and a packaging-free zone. It also boasts the latest fridge technology, further minimising the impact on the environment.

Andrew Mills, Group Executive: Marketing at Pick n Pay, says sponsoring the show provided a great platform to showcase the best in fresh at Pick n Pay and its approach to surpassing the demands of foodies. “We’ve innovated a lot in the last year to bring customers the freshest produce and ingredients, with an ambition to be the foodie destination of choice for customers. The beautiful and aspirational pantry we constructed for MasterChef South Africa lets us display the amazing range we have in stores for customers.”

Mills says the Pick n Pay team worked around the clock to stock the pantry and assist the MasterChef South Africa production team. “We treated the pantry like we would one of our small store formats and delivered the same standards and passion for the products. We also had three dedicated PnP ‘shopkeepers’ attending to the shelves seven days a week to provide the freshest quality for the contestants. Similar to our stores, any food waste was managed very carefully with approved partners.”

Justine Drake, 2022 MasterChef SA judge, agrees the pantry was any foodie’s dream. “When the global MasterChef team visited the set they said they hadn’t seen a pantry this beautiful anywhere in the world.” One of three judges on the show, Drake says the show’s pantry demonstrates Pick n Pay’s commitment to sustainability.

A packaging-free zone meant contestants selected pantry staples – from flour and grains to seeds and nuts – directly from large glass jars, helping reduce unnecessary packaging waste during the show’s production. Pick n Pay first trialled its packaging-free zone in its Constantia store and is very popular with shoppers. These products are sourced directly from suppliers and are delivered to the store in large reusable containers before being decanted into containers in the packaging-free zone.

All fresh produce was also free from packaging, something the retailer has already rolled out on a smaller scale in selected stores with its “nude walls”.

“We also installed our new clear glass fridges for the show which customers can expect to see in a large group of new and revamped stores,” explains Mills. “These don’t let the cool air escape, which means less electricity is used. Making bolder statements, but leaving fewer footprints is something we feel strongly about. These initiatives help us be kinder to our planet while delivering great innovation to our customers.

“Our best ingredients can turn any home cook into a master chef. We want our customers to be able to recreate their favourite dishes from the show – or create their own delicious recipe – by visiting their local Pick n Pay, or by placing an order on PnP ASAP! to have it delivered to their door with an hour,” he concludes.

MasterChef SA season 4 is on M-Net (DStv Channel 101), Mondays to Thursdays at 6pm from 28 February. The finale will air on Thursday 31 March.

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