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It Asda be wonky

It Asda be wonky

  • Asda set to launch range of “Wonky” fruit and veg in-store
  • 65% of shoppers are open to idea of oddly shaped fresh produce*
  • 75% would buy ‘wonky’ if it was cheaper*
  • Wonky initiative inspired by Jamie Oliver & Jimmy Doherty as featured in Channel 4’s ‘Jimmy & Jamie’s Friday Night Feast’

Asda is set to sell ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables at a discounted price, in a bid to help reduce food waste, whilst supporting farmers and offering shoppers better value for money.

Crooked carrots, knobbly pears and wonky spuds amongst others are, for the first time, to have their own fixture on shelf. Labelled as ‘Beautiful On The Inside’ they will be bagged separately and sold at a reduced rate, as the supermarket hopes to increase customer awareness and educate shoppers on the beauty of buying ‘ugly’.

The bold move takes inspiration from Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty who are tackling food waste in their new Channel 4 series Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, which starts on January 2nd 2015.

In the first programme of the series, Jamie and Jimmy meet farmers who told them that significant amounts of their fresh veg wasn’t being sold fresh because it was wonky or ugly. They then approached Asda to suggest running a small trial in store to find out customer perceptions of wonky produce and whether they would be willing to buy it at a discount.

Following positive reactions of shoppers to wonky fruit and veg featured in the programme the supermarket will launch its ‘Beautiful On The Inside’ campaign in five selected stores from 26th January.

Asda’s new campaign is also supported by customer insight, which reveals that, as a nation, we’re no longer hooked on food perfection. The survey revealed that 65% of shoppers would be open to buying oddly shaped fruit or vegetables if they were good quality and three quarters (75%) said cheaper produce would be the biggest motivator for doing so.*

Ian Harrison, produce technical director at Asda said: “Even if fruit and veg have some knobbles and blemishes, this doesn’t affect the quality or taste – a carrot is still a carrot. Customers are simply looking for great tasting, fresh produce at a value price.

“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 further processing, for things like ready meals and juicing but we saw an opportunity to extend this even more.

“The first step in this project was to look at how we could extend use by dates on produce. This can be a big cause of waste in customers’ homes due to confusion over when produce needs to be used by. After analyzing a lot of data and looking at how long different varieties of produce actually stay fresh, we have added over 1,700 days extra life to our products in 2014. We also flexed some of our specifications, allowing growers to sell more of their crops in our stores than ever before.

“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.”

In a move designed to appeal to families, the wonky fruit and vegetables will be given cute little characters: Carlos Citrus; Paul Potato; Suzie Swede; Claude Carrot; Alfie Apple and Penny Pear. And while they might not look perfect, they all promise to pack a punch at a cheaper price.

Ian Harrison said: “Our ‘Beautiful On The Inside’ range, which would have either gone to waste or been used for further processing, will now be celebrated for its freshness, value and quality in stores. The new specifications mean up to 20% more of a citrus crop, 15% more swede and 10% more potatoes could be sold fresh in-store under our wonky fruit and veg banner.

“This campaign is the latest in a series of initiatives by us to show our commitment as a business to help reduce waste throughout our supply chain and in our shopper’s homes.

“We hope customers get behind our wonky fruit and veg campaign and if it’s a success, there could be an opportunity to expand the trial across other fresh produce lines, offering customers more choice and value with the wonky range.”

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