Wembley Stadium has welcomed its first high street food retailer after M&S Food opened two stores inside the venue.
The food halls, which opened for the first time ahead of the Community Shield game between Arsenal and Manchester City on Sunday (August 6), will offer football fans and concert goers a wider range of food options when attending events at Wembley.
The opening of the stores is part of the national stadium’s drive to offer healthier food choices to fans, Wembley said in a statement. M&S said the development also aligns with its commitment, through its Eat Well, Play Well partnership with the Football Association, to make healthier eating easier, inspiring, and more accessible for families through the power of football.
The two food halls are located on the east and western sides of level two, inside the stadium, meaning they are accessible for supporters from both visiting teams during major fixtures.
Paul Scannell, head of hospitality at Wembley Stadium, said: “We’re delighted to welcome our first external food retailer into the stadium. We are also thrilled that it’s not just any retailer…… it’s M&S Food.
“The move reinforces our commitment to innovate and improve Wembley Stadium so that we deliver the best possible fan experience. Around 50% of the products available will be from the M&S Eat Well range, complementing our own commitment to providing healthier food options for fans at Wembley Stadium.”
High street brands are uncommon in major sports stadiums, although the Wembley development builds on an existing partnership between the FA and M&S Food. For the past year the retailer has been working closely with English football’s governing body, and its international footballers, to offer healthy food and drinks to complement and supercharge their strict nutritional regimes.
Former England internationals Shaun Wright-Phillips and Faye White visited the food halls ahead of the Community Shield.
Alex Freudmann, managing director, food at M&S, said: “We’re very proud of our Eat Well, Play Well partnerships with the home nations football associations, so when we had the opportunity to open these two stores within Wembley Stadium it was the next logical step for us.
“We’re passionate about helping families eat healthier through our Eat Well range, and as a football fan myself I know how frustrating it can be to find healthy food options within grounds. Now visitors to Wembley Stadium can have more of a choice – more than 50 per cent of items on sale in our stores will be Eat Well, including sandwiches and hot items, while the rest will be M&S favourites that we all know and love. All will be the same great quality and value that you’d expect from M&S Food.”