Tuesday 15 March 2016

What if Bent Veg become the New Straight?

News that Tesco has joined Asda and Morrisons this week in launching a ‘wonky veg’ range in its stores, as part of an 11 step food waste reduction campaign, raises a number of issues for stakeholders.

This initiative will obviously benefit the ever increasing needy and also reduce the pressure on farmers to meet ‘perfect shape’ specifications, resulting in less delivery-rejects.

However, suppose ‘wonky veg’ also touches a live nerve with consumers, appealing to their appetite for ‘natural’, down-to-earth food that also happens to be cheaper because of its imperfection…but tastes as good as, or even better than the ‘real thing’?

(NAMs closer to the category will know that taste and flavour were long ago compromised in the pursuit of perfection in shape).

In other words, if ‘wonky’ becomes mainstream, and even grows to say 50/50 share with ‘straight’, are we then on a road to specifying different degrees of ‘wonkyness’ in a new range of wonky sub-categories, ‘re-upping’ the pressure on farmers to meet the new specs, and also diluting retail profitability…

We are truely living in crazy times…

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