Kaufland embracing imperfections of oddly shaped veg

kaufland2German supermarket giant Kaufland is fighting food waste by offering up fruit and vegetables with ‘visual defects’ at reduced prices through its “Something Different” program.

“We remove fruits and vegetables from our farmers with visual defects and show that unusual shapes have no effect on healthy foods and a full flavour,” explained Markus Mutz, purchasing Fruits and Vegetables, Kaufland.

The supermarket chain conducted a three month trial of the program which it plans to extend throughout Germany.

Previously its fresh fruits or vegetables that looked a bit unusual often didn’t make it to shelves, but the new program will aim to convince customers that these produce are still good to eat.

Similar initiatives are already in place in Australia with Woolworths, Coles and Aldi adopting food waste programs.

The Odd Bunch range at Woolies helps customers save money and reduce food waste by buying odd looking produce.

“We have sold over 115 million kilograms of these wonky looking fruit and veg since we launched the range in 2014. Not only do customers love that they are saving money, but it’s also helping our local Aussie growers reduce food waste at the same time,” Woolworths senior nutritionist, Natalie Chong, said.

Coles also advocates on reducing food waste by using produce that cannot be sold as a whole to make other value-added products. The supermarket sells kids packs of undersized fruits including apples and mandarins. Some fruits that don’t meet requirements such as bananas, cauliflower or broccoli are turned into Coles Brand frozen banana pieces, banana bread, muffins and rice alternative products.

“When available we sell a 500g ‘smoothie pack’ of strawberries that are smaller than the general size specification of 3 – 4cm for large and extra large from tip to shoulder, which are the same price as a 250g of medium premium-sized berries,” said Coles spokesperson to Inside FMCG.

Discount grocer Aldi said it works closely with growers to utilise as much of their crop as possible, while still ensuring the produce that reaches stores meets high standards and specifications.

Its Li’l Snakerz range of apples, bananas and pears uses smaller varieties than the standard crop profile. It also sets banana specifications for growers to supply different sizes of bananas in one carton.

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