ASDA’S WONKY VEG ARRIVE IN NI
Asda has extended its Wonky Vegetable brand to Northern Ireland, with a family sized box which includes nine in-season misshaped vegetable lines, priced at £3.50 per box – 30% cheaper than standard lines.
The supermarket led the market by introducing imperfect vegetable into a number of its GB stores in January 2015 with the move championed by Jamie Oliver and Jimmy Doherty. During the recent series of the show, Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast, the foodie stars revisited Asda’s wonky veg and challenged the supermarket to extend the range even further, which led to the new development.
Food waste remains a high priority for supermarkets and Asda has worked hard across its agricultural supply chain to reduce waste whether that’s with relaxing specifications to allow more crops onto its shelves, ensuring out-of-spec produce goes into further processed products like ready meals or including it in its Wonky Veg range. By reviewing standards around superficially damaged veg, over 340 tonnes of carrots and 300 tonnes of sweet potatoes that would have previously been rejected have been put on shelf at Asda.
Asda’s new Wonky Veg boxes will land in each of the 16 NI stores this week with stock available on a limited basis to see if the box is a hit with local customers. Each box has enough produce to feed a family of four for an entire week for just £3.50 and includes vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber,cabbage, leeks, parsnips and onions.
The ‘wonkiness’ element of the veg changes by product. Currently, 15% of potatoes do not meet specifications because they’re too big, too small or blemished and 15% of parsnips don’t make the shelf because they’re odd shaped or have superficial defects. Similarly, 10% of onions that are the wrong shape and size, and 8% of carrots grown with knobbles and bobbles are excluded. However these are the types of products that will be included in the Wonky Veg box.
George Rankin Senior Director, Asda NI said: “We’re really delighted to bring our exclusive Wonky Veg Boxes to our Northern Ireland stores as we’ve been overwhelmed by the response to the initial trial in GB. It shows just how conscious our customers are about food waste, particularly in the fresh produce aisle. It also proves they aren’t concerned about the odd knobble or bruise and are motivated by the fact that they can save money, eat healthily and plan meals for the whole week.”
Dr Ian Garner, of the Love Food Haste Waste Campaign, added: “It’s great to see Asda roll out its new range of misshapen veg in Northern Ireland. All food should be valued and buying misshapen fruit and veg doesn’t mean any of the taste is being sacrificed.”