It appears we’re not the only ones to have a penchant for ugly veg. Supermarkets are finally pulling their finger out and getting wonky produce back in our shopping baskets.
French supermarket, Intermarché, launched a brilliantly successful campaign in June – Fruits et légumes moches (Inglorious fruit and veg, in English), which introduced disfigured carrots and ugly aubergines, among other rejects, to their flagship store at a 30% discount.
As part of the campaign, the supermarket blitzed up the produce into smoothies, soups and juices, and asked customers to take part in a blind taste test – the result? No difference of course. The campaign has already saved tonnes of produce that would otherwise have ended up in landfill as well as showing people that ugly veg ain’t that bad! The supermarket now plan to run the campaign nationwide.
Now, Aussie supermarket, Harris Farm Markets, are following suit with their Imperfect Picks campaign. According to Horticulture Australia, at least 277,700 tonnes of fruit and vegetables are wasted every year in the country, largely because they’ve failed to meet strict retail quality standards.
Campaigns like these are so powerful not only in helping farmers to reduce their high production costs, but in raising much-needed awareness around the simple fact that 40% of fruit and vegetables go to waste worldwide. It’s about time that supermarkets reverse what is an insane policy of food perfection. People need to start getting used to seeing fruits and veg that aren’t a uniform shape, colour and size. That is simply not reality.
Hopefully, brilliant campaigns like these will catch on.