Consumers will buy wonky fruit & veg if cheap enough

According to the results of a new survey by retail marketing specialist Blue Yonder, consumers are more willing to buy misshapen and so-called ‘wonky’ fruits and vegetables, but they expect a price discount.

The research, which was carried out amongst 2,000 shoppers in the UK, USA, France and Germany, found that 73 per cent  would consider buying fresh produce which had natural flaws, but 90 per cent said that they expected retailers to charge less for them than they would for regular fruit.

Of the four countries surveyed, France was the most accepting of misshapen produce with 93 per cent of those questioned saying they would buy it if there was a discount. However, less than half of Brits said they would buy wonky veg, with or without a price discount.

Matt Hopkins, retail industry director for Blue Yonder, said: “Discounting imperfect produce helps overcome the waste problem in the supply chain. However, for it to have a real impact on waste reduction, retailers need to understand what demand will be for products – wonky or not – to accurately stock the right amount of ‘imperfect’ versus ‘perfect’ fruit and vegetables.

“It would be pointless to reduce waste in the supply chain, only to see retailers having to throw it away from supermarket and distribution centre shelves.

“The findings also indicate that accurate markdown pricing is needed to successfully sell imperfect fruit and vegetables. Pricing ‘imperfect fruit and veg’ versus ‘perfect fruit and veg’ will add to the complexity and number of decisions in a world where grocery is already struggling to keep pace. The use of advanced machine learning algorithms for the best decisions, delivered daily, is important for survival and success.”

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