French supermarkets to expand initiative that sells "ugly" fruit and vegetables at a 30 per cent discount
"Ugly" fruit and vegetables – such as bumpy oranges, two-legged carrots or misshapen aubergines – have proved such a hit in Francethat supermarket chains – which would previously dump them – are putting the produce on sale in thousands of outlets across the country.
The initiative lets consumers buy the products at a 30 per cent discount compared to their "beautiful" equivalents and allows farmers to sell vegetables that were previously rejected, says Intermarché, one of the supermarkets involved.
It tested selling the oddly-shaped food in one outlet in the town of Provins earlier this year and the trial was such a success that it plans to launch the initiative across its 1,800 stores from next month to encourage customers to try “fruit and vegetables that are ‘ugly’ (twisted, deformed, the wrong size) but just as tasty”.
A government-sponsored day of action against food waste in general is scheduled to run at the same time as the Intermarché initiative. French officials say that seven million tonnes of food are thrown out every year and the government is aiming to reduce this by half within the next decade.
Other French supermarket chains like Auchan and Monoprix are following Intermarché’s lead in the push to sell the 30 per cent of fruit and vegetables that had previously been deemed an eyesore.