Former brand manager at G's Fresh Amy Cross writes from the US

Everything here is bigger. Even the humble bottle of Coke. Not content with the puny 500ml of the British market, the American market has 591ml.

Standard strawberry punnets are 3lbs/1.36kg, my bags of prepared carrots (mini not baton) are 3lbs/1.36kg, plums are 2lb/810g, cucumbers come in packs of three and bell peppers come in packs of six (with size specs similar to or larger than UK three in line). And as for the volumes of packs in Costco, they deserve their own article.

My personal approach as a consumer to prevent waste has been to have slightly less variety and to rotate through trying new items, or use the loose which I referenced last month. Based on the trolleys of those I see, I am still none the wiser as to whether the US customer is comfortable with large amounts of waste, just eating greater volumes or there are other consumer habits (like for example preserving), of which I am unaware.

In some areas of produce, shelf life is markedly improved on the UK. Dry matter on lettuce for example leads to longer life, well over a week in the consumer fridge before ‘pinking’ sets in.

The 3lb bag of mini carrots had 18 days life left when I purchased them at the weekend, and they don’t seem to accelerate on deterioration as quickly when opened as the UK, not going white on contact with the open air or slimy in the bottom of the bag. With prepared products I don’t know what differences here lead to the shelf life advantage. I can speculate at alternative factory standards, altered raw material quality, but also different treatment types and expectations.

I know, for example, that irradiation of beef steaks is viewed as an advantage for customers who can then have ‘rare’ steak in the ‘safe’ knowledge that there will no ‘nasties’ not killed by having failed to raise the core temperatures. This is a different perspective to those I am familiar with in the UK. All that having been said, it transpires that my toddler and I can consume 6lbs (2.7kg) of strawberries in a week. I might be going native!