Life on the land in Australia



disfigured eggplant image www.ozrural.com.au

The same as the perfectly shaped eggplant … French supermarket Intermarche’s campaign.

FUNNY-shaped fruit & veg with spots are the heroes of a new initiative designed to cut waste and make healthy food cheaper.

The “ugly” fruit and veg that previously might have ended in the bin will be sold at discount prices in The Odd Bunch campaign launched this week by supermarket giant Woolworths.

At least 25 per cent of fresh produce is estimated to be rejected because of imperfections or cosmetic damage.

Woolworths says it wants to show customers that this food is still delicious and healthy, as well as helping farmers sell more of their crop.

Discounts will vary but this week Woolworths is selling a kilogram bag of Odd Bunch carrots for $1.28 compared to $1.88 for the standard range. Odd Bunch pears are $2.78 a kilogram, a saving of $1.20.

UGLY FRUIT AND VEG: Should Aussie supermarkets do more to promote them?

HALF PRICE: Harris Farm selling “ugly” fruit and veg

Four-year-old Grace Yull’s verdict on the Odd Bunch campaign launched by Woolworths. image www.ozrural.com.au

The “ugly’ carrots taste just like carrots … Four-year-old Grace Yull’s verdict on the Odd Bunch campaign launched by Woolworths.

The program, the first of its type in a national supermarket, follows the success of a similar initiative by the French chain Intermarche, which was adopted by UK supermarket chain Sainsbury’s in October.

In August, we asked Australian supermarkets if they would consider running similar campaigns, but they were reluctant to follow – until now.

COMMENT BELOW: Will you buy discounted ‘ugly’ fruit and veg?

ugly apple image www.ozrural.com.au

Discounted prices … An apple for Woolworths Odd Bunch campaign.

ugly carrot image www.ozrural.com.au

Will you be tempted … A carrot for Woolworths Odd Bunch campaign.


Donald Keith, senior category manager at Woolworths, said the campaign was part of the company’s efforts to reduce food waste and make produce more affordable.

“There are many reasons why there are marks on fruit and veg, whether it’s the wind or the way it sat on the stem,” he said. “But the eating experience doesn’t change.

“It’s an opportunity for us to take more of the crop from our growers. They’ll be able to sell more to us directly, leading to less waste.”

Mr Keith said The Odd Bunch range would vary through the year, depending on availability.

“It’s about taking seasonal opportunities, when products are in abundance,” he said. “So stores will have different ranges depending on supply.”

Zerella Fresh is a major supplier of carrots, onions and pumpkins to the supermarket.

The company’s national sales manager, Peter Brinkworth, said the new initiative would help it sell more of the 1000 tonnes of carrots it pulls up each week.

“We’ve now found a new home for more than 50 tonnes of carrots a week,” he said.

“People buy with their eyes but there is nothing wrong with these carrots. Once you cut them up, they are no different to the perfect carrot, apart from their appearance. They taste the same.

“Woolies are supporting the growers by taking the whole crop … instead of cherrypicking what we are growing, they are working with us.”

ugly root vegetable image www.ozrural.com.au

Ugly to most eyes but just as nutritious … Part of French supermarket Intermarche’s campaign.


Mr Brinkworth said between 10 and 30 per cent of its crop was not used for retail sale. It was either sent to a processor, sold for livestock feed, given away or dumped.

Ronni Kahn, the chief executive of food rescue champions OzHarvest, said the concept could have great impact in reducing waste, educating the public and saving the environment.

“This is hugely important. I’m thrilled,” she said. “We have to understand that an apple with a bruise or a banana with a freckle is delicious and not discard it.”

Vicki Yull, a mother of four children, including Grace, four, said the initiative was a great idea.

“I don’t need perfect-looking vegetables as long as they taste good. Even Grace said it’s still a carrot.”

December 5th, 2014

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