New global consumer research by big data specialist Blue Yonder has revealed that almost three quarters of shoppers would be prepared to purchase imperfect fruits and vegetables – provided they were discounted.
The British firm asked 2,000 consumers across the UK, US, France and Germany whether they would buy wonky fruit and vegetables. It found that 81 per cent of people shopping at supermarkets and discount retailers said they would buy imperfect fruit. But this fell to just 52 per cent of online shoppers.
Of those surveyed, 90 per cent said they would need the incentive of a discount. Sixty per cent said they would expect at least a 20 per cent price reduction and 22 per cent said the discount would have to be at least 50 per cent.
French consumers were the most open to imperfect produce with 93 per cent saying they would buy it at a discount. Germany was second (85 per cent), followed by the UK (89 per cent) and the US (66 per cent).
The research also showed that those surveyed in the over 55 age group were far less likely to buy imperfect veg with 42 per cent opposed to it.
Blue Yonder’s retail director Matt Hopkins said: “discounting imperfect produce helps overcome the waste problem in the supply chain. However, for it to have a real impact on waste reduction, retailers need to understand what demand will be for products – wonky or not – to accurately stock the right amount of ‘imperfect’ versus ‘perfect’ fruit and vegetables.
“It would be pointless to reduce waste in the supply chain, only to see retailers having to throw it away from the supermarket/distribution centre’s shelves.”