Wednesday, August 13, 2014

French grocer celebrates imperfect food

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:39 AM

About a month ago, a French grocery store started an ad campaign trying to convince consumers to buy imperfect fruits and vegetables.

The whole campaign is geared at addressing a major food waste problem. Too often, imperfect produce is tossed out by grocers, since the public doesn’t buy it. And it’s part of a much bigger problem: 52 percent of the fruits and vegetables harvested in the United States aren’t consumed, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

But the Intermarche campaign is genius. It doesn’t just encourage consumers to buy imperfect produce – things such as lumpy apples or carrots that don’t really look like carrots – it glorifies them.

My French isn’t what it used to be, so thankfully the advertising company that developed the campaign released an English language YouTube clip on it. It’s attached at the bottom of the post.

And Yale Environment 360 has a solid explanation of Intermarche’s effort. Basically, the company is accepting the produce farmers would otherwise throw away because no other grocer would buy it, is charging 30 percent less for it, and is displaying posters explaining to customers that the fruits and veggies are just as good and nutritious as their shelf-perfect counterparts.

It’d be great to see similar campaigns in domestic grocery stores.

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