Food

Making Ugly Produce Attractive

The French supermarket chain Intermarché is tackling food waste by selling scarred, disfigured and oddly-shaped fruits and vegetables to customers for 30% less than equivalent perfect-looking produce. The campaign educates consumers about the huge wastage of fruits and vegetables every year due to natural but undesirable variation, unrelated to taste or nutritional value. By reducing the price of the so-called “inglorious” fruits and vegetables, the campaign also helps customers who struggle to afford buying the five daily portions of fruits and vegetables recommended by nutritionists.

Why you should care

Fruits and vegetables offer great nutritional value but also contribute some of the highest rates of waste in the food industry, with up to 45% of fruits and vegetables produced annually being thrown away. Part of the problem is that large quantities of fruits and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets purely based on their appearance. This campaign has shown that, with attractive marketing and favorable prices, customers are willing to buy produce that would otherwise be considered waste. Since the campaign, five of Intermarché’s main competitors have launched similar campaigns.

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