26 November 2021

Christmas 2021 - Big Zuu

  • Ethical retailer will instead host UK’s first ever live TV advert to highlight community solutions to food waste
  • Co-op funding to double network of Community Fridges to 500, saving 34m meals from going to waste annually

Instead of a traditional supermarket multi-million-pound TV commercial, this Christmas, Co-op will shed a light on the power of real communities in real time.

As part of its commitment to reduce food waste and help more people get the meal they deserve this Christmas, tonight (26th Nov), Co-op will be interrupting ITV’s Coronation Street to host a live link to a Community Fridge within the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association Community Centre in Feltham.

There, TV personality, Dermot O’Leary alongside TV chef and rapper Big Zuu will put the spotlight on that local community and how a fridge is bringing people together to eat, connect, learn new skills and reduce food waste.

The Community Fridge Network was set up by environmental charity Hubbub in 2016. Each Community Fridge redistributes an average of 2.4 tonnes of food per month.

Now, Co-op is committing to doubling Hubbub’s network of fridges, by funding a further 250, which will save a total of 34 million meals from going to waste annually across the network of 500 fridges.

Dermot O’Leary, TV presenter commented: “Everyone deserves food on their plate all year round not just this Christmas, so I'm pleased to give my support to this initiative. It’s been a horrendous 18 months for a lot of people. This shows the power of communities and what can be achieved when we all come together.”

The fridges which will be open over the festive period are a place where communities can gain access to fresh food, cook together and learn new skills.

Big Zuu, TV Chef and Rapper added: “Where I grew up, community was a way of life. People came together to support one another and for me, food is a mechanism for that not just at Christmas, but all year round. It brings people together and ultimately when people come together good things can happen. I’m proud to be working with the Co-op to eradicate food waste and inspire local communities to come together and support each other.”

This Christmas, and all year round, customers can visit and share surplus food with their local Community Fridge, get involved by volunteering or find out more in-store and online.

Additionally, Co-op is enabling community groups to apply for funding to set up their own Community Fridge through their online community Co-operate.

Currently 100 grants for community fridges are available for communities to apply for and will be placed in areas where they’ll be most effective.

Ali Jones, Customer and Community Director at Co-op, commented: “Christmas is a great time to shine a spotlight on the things that matter most to us.

Given the past 18 months and the challenges which clearly lie ahead, we wanted to highlight the importance of community in a real, genuine and positive way. Our unique live advert will remind people that whilst not everyone can enjoy the same Christmas this year but that by co-operating we can create a fairer world in the future.”

Darius Nasimi, Founder and President of KSL Central Asia Society commented: “These Community fridges connect and bring people together to strengthen communities. Yes, people need access to food, but they also need a sense of belonging, particularly around this time of year. We want to make sure that the right support networks are there for everyone.”

Liam Sweeney, Creative Partner at Hubbub said: “Food has always been a way to bring people together – particularly at Christmas! But the role of a Community Fridge goes way beyond its contents. Not only do these fridges provide people with fresh food that would otherwise go to waste but they offer a place for communities to come together, support one another and learn from each other.”


For more information, please contact: Emily Penkett / emily.penkett@coop.co.uk & Mark Carrington / mark.carrington@coop.co.uk

Notes to Editor Total meals based on data reported by existing community fridges between November 2019 and April 2021. Each fridge was redistributing 2.4 tonnes on average, which shows equivalent of 5,714 meals redistributed per month on average by each fridge. (420g = 1 meal)

5,714 meals per month x 12 months x 500 Community Fridges (the total number of fridges that Co-op funding will take the network size to) = 34,284,000

Meals equivalent: WRAP recommends the use of 420g as an ‘average’ meal weight, for the purpose of illustrating the amounts of food being redistributed.

About Co-op The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by over 4 million UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.  

Employing over 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of £10 billion. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.  

This investment in community fridges has been made possible by Co-op members and customers thanks to the contribution of 2p in every £1 spent on Co-op own-branded products, shared between its Local Community Fund and Co-op’s new Community Partnerships Fund, which support grassroots projects that provide access to food, help improve mental wellbeing or create opportunities for young people.

About Hubbub Hubbub is an award-winning charity that inspires ways of living that are good for the environment. Hubbub designs trailblazing campaigns that make environmental action desirable; disrupting the status quo to raise awareness, nudge behaviours and shape systems.

Since 2014 Hubbub has built collaborations with over 1,600 organisations, from international businesses to local authorities and community groups – inspiring over 800,000 people to take action and change their behaviour. This includes bringing together all the major coffee cup retailers to collect and recycle 5 million coffee cups in 1 year.

Hubbub’s campaigns include #LeedsByExample which brought together 25 of the UK’s largest companies to boost recycling on the high street, a 3-year partnership with IKEA to create the world’s largest consumer-facing sustainability campaign ‘Live Lagom’ and creating a Network of over 150 Community Fridges across the UK, each redistributing on average 1.5 tonnes of food every month that would otherwise have gone to waste.

Hubbub also runs campaigns to tackle litter, air pollution and climate change and to promote sustainable fashion. Their innovative approach saw Hubbub win the Charity of the Year Award at the prestigious Charity Times Awards in 2020.