Almost all senior managers at retailers across the UK, US, Germany and France believe there is scope to sell more wonky veg and cut food waste, according to a new survey.
Research firm Blue Yonder asked 152 managers and directors in the UK’s grocery retail industry whether they think consumers would buy imperfect fruit and veg, comparing results with similar surveys in the US, Germany and France.
The results found that the more senior the manager, the more enthusiastic they were about whether customers would buy discounted wonky veg.
The research aimed to look at how the food industry could meet the WRAP-coordinated Courtauld Commitment, which saw retailers and food suppliers pledge to reduce food and drink waste by a fifth by 2025.
Almost all managers in the UK (89 per cent) said they thought consumers would ‘yes, definitely’ or ‘yes, possibly’ buy wonky veg, including 43 per cent of junior managers, 55 per cent of middle managers, 57 per cent of senior managers and 77 per cent of grocery company directors.
There was a similar response from the US grocery market where Blue Yonder spoke to 300 managers, 91 per cent of whom said shoppers would either ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’ buy discounted wonky veg. This figure rose to 94 per cent in Germany.
Blue Yonder retail industry director Matt Hopkins said: “This research reveals 90 per cent of grocery managers feel customers would be happy with discounts on imperfect fruit and vegetables. This has the benefit of overcoming the waste problem in the supply chain, and is clearly of benefit to all.”
Wonky veg made mainstream headlines earlier this year as part of celebrity chef and food campaigner Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s new series War on Waste from TV chef. Two months afterwards, supermarkets started trialling wonky fruit and veg, Blue Yonder said, as the campaign to reduce food waste gathered momentum.