Asda recently launched a ‘Wonky Veg Box’ full of enough crooked carrots and knobbly potatoes to feed a family of four for a whole week for just £3.50. Sounds like a bargain, right? But what’s with the rise of so-called ‘ugly fruit & veg’?
For years, supermarkets have had strict rules to determine which fruit and veg are pretty enough to make it to the shelf. Blemishes, knobbly bits and odd shapes are all negative points in the Fruit and Veg Beauty Pageant. Even sizes have to be correct. A tomato that is too big or too small will never make it to prime time.
The science behind these restrictions is heavily based on consumer habits and psychology, creating a uniform shape and size for all fruit and veg. But it seems that consumer habits are changing, and with the support of social media pressure, supermarkets are beginning to change their stance.
— @UglyFruitAndVeg (@UglyFruitAndVeg) February 28, 2016
They say that beauty is only skin-deep and the same applies to these weird-looking fruits and vegetables. Sure they look out of shape, but they are just as tasty as their perfectly-formed counterparts. The rise of ugly fruit and veg is a response to a social trend that has been criticising supermarkets for the 200,000 tonnes of food waste created every year. Hugh-Fearnley-Whittingstall has been criticising the industry for the unnecessary waste of food and the movement has been gaining more and more traction on social media.
Personally, we think there’s nothing better than an amusingly-shaped vegetable! Wonky fruit and veg might be a bit trickier to peel, but it tastes just as good. Plus, if you’re mixing a juice drink or a soup, no one will know how bent your broccoli might be! French supermarket, Intermarché have thoroughly embraced this idea in their new adverts:
These ads are all about demonstrating that just because they look strange, fruit and veg is still fruit and veg no matter what it looks like.
The response from shoppers to Asda’s Wonky Veg Box has been positive thus far, causing the other leading supermarkets to re-think the way they handle misshapen fruits and vegetables. This could be the start of a change in the way we think about food and supermarkets will have to respond to changes in demand. We’ve seen trends like this happen already with a shift in people’s perceptions to white fish for example, as more and more people consider coley and pollack over cod.
Wonky veg leads to a reduction in waste, saves the planet and makes cutting veg so much funnier, so we’re all for it! We love fruit and veg, no matter what it looks like.
All of our recipes are ugly fruit & veg-friendly. So grab some wonderfully wonky veg and try our Oven Baked Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots!
Are you a fan of wonky fruit and veg? Tune in to our Facebook feed for regular updates on the ugly fruit and veg-olution.