When you go to the supermarket to do your weekly food shop, would you choose the carrot that is twisted or the carrot that is straight?
Up until the beginning of this year, even seeing a twisted carrot amongst other straight carrots would have been a rare sight. Yet now, if you’re shopping in superstore Asda, you can expect to see more of these abnormal shaped vegetables as the supermarket is making a concentrated effort to reduce food waste by selling more ‘wonky veg’.
Beautiful on the Inside
The concept of selling wonky veg came about after Jamie Oliver challenged Asda to encourage the consumption of ‘ugly’ veg on his television series, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast.
It was revealed that a shocking number of vegetables were left with the farmers and rejected by trading supermarkets, when in reality, they were perfectly find to be sold and consumed.
Official statistics unveiled a large amount of food wastage, including leftovers of:
- 15% of potatoes
- 15% of parsnips
- 10% of onions
- 8% of carrots
Following Jamie Oliver’s proposal, Asda’s ‘Beautiful on the Inside’ range introduced a wonky veg range, including the rather quirky, Wonky Veg box. These boxes are jam-packed with fabulously wonky vegetables of all shapes and sizes, including peppers, courgettes, carrots, onions and potatoes. This campaign goes to show that it’s not what is on the outside that’s important, but rather the beauty on the inside, as all of these wonky vegetables are just as nutritional and safe to consume as ‘normal looking’ vegetables.
Asda have taken on 340 more tonnes of organic carrots, that would previously have been disregarded and deemed unsuitable for sale. These would have been rejected for various reasons, such as too big, too small or too blemished, whereas now they are embraced and proudly placed amongst fellow wonky vegetables in the Wonky Veg boxes.
Wonky Veg boxes
As the first supermarket to sell this new range of vegetables, the five Asda stores selected to trial it out, included: Grantham, Coventry, Dagenham, Bedminster (Bristol) and Wallington (Croydon). Now the range has been extended to another 128 stores, including York, Ipswich and Norwich.
Since the original trial period, the boxes have been received extremely well by the public, as Asda’s technical produce director reveals, “Our shoppers absolutely love Wonky Fruit and Veg and we’ve seen sales steadily increase over the last year.” The success of this new range has enabled Asda to relax specifications on other produce, and the boxes have now been extended to include fruit, such as pears, citrus fruits and garlic.
Why is this being introduced?
This new, slack specification requirements of certain produce is ultimately an attempt to utilise more of the crops the farmers produce, regardless of the their physical appearance.
The boxes consist of enough food to feed a family of four for a week, and are priced at £3.50 per box. Although this is a bargain for the customer, and not so much the farmer, the farmer’s are still receiving something at least for the produce they are selling, whereas before they wouldn’t receive anything at all.
Just as Asda’s Croydon branch was one of the first to support this new campaign, Croydon based Hinton’s Waste are also equally committed to reducing all types of waste throughout Croydon and wider areas. To learn more about the recycling services and our skip hire services we offer, please feel free to get in touch with us today.