Asda has committed to making the selection box of ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables a permanent initiative, putting 10,000 boxes into 550 stores, at least once a month.
This means shoppers in the North West will now be able to buy the much-talked about £3.50 ‘Wonky Veg Box’, a family sized box including nine in-season misshaped winter vegetable lines.
It follows the resounding success of a trial at a handful of Asda stores in the South.
The initiative was championed during the latest series of Channel 4’s ‘Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’, with the stars challenging Asda to extend its wonky fruit and vegetable range even further.
Each box includes 5kg of fresh produce which is enough to feed a family of four for a working week and costs just £3.50 - 30% cheaper than standard lines. The contents will vary dependant on the season but customers can expect to see things such as: carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, leeks, parsnips and onions.
Customer research shows 65% of Asda customers are now open to the idea of wonky veg and 75% are drawn in by the significantly low price, which has led to the range becoming a permanent fixture in stores in Accrington, Blackburn, Blackpool, Burnley, Carlisle, Clayton Green, Colne, Kendal, Lancaster, Preston Fulwood and Rawtenstall among others in Wigan and Greater Manchester.
The positive reaction from customers means four times the amount of wonky produce will be sold in over four times the amount of stores originally planned.
This latest extension of the initiative by Asda will result in at least 500 tonnes of ‘waste’ fruit and vegetables being taken from farmers and sold in the supermarket by the end of 2016.
Ian Harrison, Asda’s produce quality director, said: “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to our wonky vegetable box and think it shows just how conscious our customers are of food waste, particularly in the produce aisle.
“We knew from our initial research that customers aren’t phased by the odd knobble here or a bruise there, but including this ‘ugly’ veg in a mixed box format has helped customers save even more money and plan meals for the family for the whole week, ensuring nothing is thrown away, even when it’s taken out of the supermarket aisle.
“We’re extremely excited to be able to bring the wonky veg box to even more people across the UK and in turn, further support our growers to ensure we’re buying as much of their crop as possible.”
“The differences mostly won’t even be noticeable to customers, but the waste saving to our growers will be huge.”