Asda launches ‘wonky veg’ range to tackle food waste
Asda is collaborating with TV chef Jamie Oliver to reduce food waste by selling a new range of misshapen fruit and vegetables at reduced prices.
The initiative, called ‘Beautiful on the Inside’, will be trialled at five Asda stores, starting on 26 January.
The idea was reportedly born when farmers told Oliver on his Friday Night Feast TV show that a significant amount of fruit and veg isn’t being sold as ‘fresh’ because it’s ‘wonky’ or ‘ugly’.
Asda produce technical director Ian Harrison said: “We’ve been working very closely with our farmers to make sure we have excellent knowledge of our supply chain. Our growers are savvy and already use a large percentage of this ‘wonky’ crop for things like ready meals and juicing but we saw an opportunity to extend this even more.
“There is still work to be done in encouraging customers to give ‘wonky’ fruit and veg a go, but we hope our campaign will break down some of those barriers and make ‘ugly’ food more accessible for shoppers and families.”
Harrison added that the trial could be extended to other fresh product lines if successful, as Asda research suggests 75% of shoppers would buy ‘wonky’ fruit and veg if it was cheaper than regular produce.
In June, a similar trial by the French supermarket Intermarche reportedly increased footfall traffic by 24% in the first three days of the campaign.
Oliver said: “If most Brits had half an idea of the amount going to waste, they’d be snapping up ugly veg by the trolley load. There’s no difference whatsoever in taste or nutritional value. This is perfectly good food that could and should be eaten by humans.”
Last June, Watrose announced a new line of misshapen tomatoes, while Sainsburys partnered with Google to launch a food-waste reduction app.
Food waste fight: Rude Veg! 40% of everything farmers grow gets rejected by supermarkets! #FridayNightFeast
— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) January 2, 2015
A wonky parsnip from Jamie’s gardener Pete. Join the food fight & show us your weird veg!! #FridayNightFeast pic.twitter.com/DTZixEvVSH
— JamieOliver.com (@JamieOliverCom) January 2, 2015
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