Marketing inglorious vegetables
Tons of fruit and vegetables are dumped each year because they don’t meet the standards required by retailers (and consumers). At best, these imperfect products are intended for processing or animal feed, and at worst, the dustbin. But, they are just as good as the nice-looking ones. The solution to such wastage is not simple.
In France, several chain stores sell flawed fruit and vegetables at a discount. Intermarché, which is one such chain, has paired it with a humourous and snappy Internet campaign, which went viral and even won an award for advertising.
During a two-day trial, an Intermarché in Provins, an hour southeast of Paris, offered “flawed” apples, oranges and carrots in a separate and clearly identified spot at 30% cheaper rates. It also included soups from bruised carrots and juices from bruised oranges. The operation was successful beyond measure.
In the West, we estimate that on average, between 20% to 50% of waste from the food industry is actually fit for consumption, and this mainly includes fruits and vegetables. In Canada each individual throws away 183 kilos of food every year, while in Europe, it is 179 kilos.
Our local chain stores use innovative marketing for unsold products but not for inferior category (imperfect or “ugly”) products. Do you think that they should be inspired by French initiatives?