Here’s a little something for all you fact fans out there: I worked for Asda for about 2-years, between the ages of 16 and 18, and I absolutely loved it! It would definitely have made some good reality TV because boy oh boy was there some gossip and drama, but I had an absolute blast working there and will always look back on it fondly.
But I’m not here to reminisce; I’m here to talk to you about my visit to Asda in South Woodham Ferrers this weekend where I tried out their new Scan & Go system and treated myself to a few bits from their vegan range.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I went vegetarian in January of this year having gradually gone off meat over a period of time. For me, personally, being veggie is a lifestyle change that really works. I feel better in myself physically, and certainly feel a lot more comfortable with my food choices morally. Everyone is different and I would never preach to other people that they should step away from meat, but on a purely personal level, I don’t want to eat animals, it doesn’t sit right with me.
But, that said, I haven’t gone full whack and adopted a vegan diet. It sounds a bit silly when you’re already avoiding some animal products not to stop having them altogether, but being vegan is definitely a lot more of a commitment than being veggie and takes a lot more effort. I do what I can and will take oat milk in my coffee when the option is available for example, but being allergic to nuts means that a lot of vegan food is out of bounds for me.
So, what do Asda have to offer to those of us living a plant-based life? Well, more than I expected to be honest with you!
This section in the store is dedicated solely to cruelty-free food choices, both vegetarian and vegan, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much choice there is. Obviously there isn’t anywhere near as much as there is for meat-eaters, but this is definitely a good start and shows a clear willingness and desire by Asda to cater for everyone.
As well as the vegan and veggie section, there’s also a dedicated Free From area which has products that are made without various allergens – dairy, gluten, nuts etc. Another show of understanding of people’s health needs as well as their ethical diet choices, something that I know the importance of having a life-threatening allergy myself.
Whilst we were there we actually picked up some vegan goodies, c/o Asda (thanks guys!), and have got our dinners sorted for the next week or so! As an unshakeable meat-eater I thought I would let Ben choose what we got and he picked out some items I can’t wait to try!
All of these items are vegan – even if they state they’re vegetarian on the front. Vegan meatballs, vegan duck pancakes, vegan scampi bites (which I’m very excited about as I’m allergic to shellfish so have never had real scampi!), vegan halloumi, two types of vegan sausage (which smell incredible every time I open the fridge), vegan yoghurt and a vegan chocolate milk. I’m really excited about trying all of these as they’re all products that are new to me, so I’m going to be expanding my food horizons as well as Ben’s!
Whilst we were there in-store we were also tasked with trying out the new Asda Scan & Go system; a new handheld device you take around with you to scan your shopping as you go and speed up the whole process. So, is it just a gimmick or is it worth the hype?
It’s definitely worth the hype! It is so simple to use and makes your shopping experience so much quicker as well as enabling you to keep a close eye on your spending as you go, meaning if you’ve got a set budget it’ll be easier for you to stick to it and prevent any surprises when you get to the checkout!
Here’s how it works:
As you walk in the shop entrance you’ll see the Scan & Go display. Sign up with your name and email address on the screen and it’ll release one of the handheld devices to you for your use. Then, simply scan every item you want to buy as you pop it into your basket!
Once you’ve picked up and scanned everything you want, simply go to the dedicated Scan & Go tills, scan the QR code on the screen, pay, then hang your handheld device up and you’re done! It takes just a matter of minutes and is so simple! And, let’s be honest, using the scanner is a lot of fun!
There are so many plus points to using this scanner but, aside from how quick it makes the shopping process (something that is really important for me as I have so little spare time for food shopping), I think the running total that the scanner shows as you fill your trolley is something that will be really helpful for a lot of people. Whether you’ve come shopping with only a certain amount of money on you, or you’re shopping to a budget, being able to track how much you’ve spent as you go along will make it so much easier to make sure you don’t overspend.
There’s definitely something to be said for the personal touch of a human when it comes to customer service, but when you’re in a rush or tracking your spending, the Scan & Go system is perfect and I will 100% be using it next time I visit Asda.
All in all, Asda are definitely a forward-thinking, of-the-moment retailer, using technology to make its customers lives easier and catering for allergies and ethical dietary choices; a good thing, I think we can all agree!
A big thanks to Asda for inviting us down to take a look at what they had to offer in store, and for the vegan goodies they footed the bill for. I’ll share our thoughts on each of them once we’ve tried them!
* In Association With Brand *
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