Woolworths launches ‘The Odd Bunch’, not-quite-perfect looking fruit and vegetables

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 10th December 2014
Woolworths launches ‘The Odd Bunch’, not-quite-perfect looking fruit and vegetables
Woolworths launches ‘The Odd Bunch’, not-quite-perfect looking fruit and vegetables

Supermarket giant Woolworths has introduced ‘The Odd Bunch’, a collection of fresh fruit and vegetables that might look less than perfect, and are sold at a cheaper price.

The Woolworths campaign comes after Sydney grocer Harris Farm launched a similar campaign called ‘Imperfect Picks’, and wholesale food business Spade & Barrow launched home box delivery initiative that also makes use of ‘imperfect’ looking produce. Woolworths is the first supermarket in Australia to launch such an initiative at a national scale.

Quarter of edible fresh produce thrown out each year

Around 25 per cent of edible fresh produce is thrown away due to visual imperfection or cosmetic damage every year in Australia. According to a 2013 study from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), as much as a third of edible food globally goes to waste, with the processing, distribution and consumption parts of the food chain accounting for 46 per cent of wastage.

As part of its goal to “reduce food waste and deliver fresh produce at great prices”, Woolworths said The Odd Bunch would allow shoppers to buy the fruit and vegetables that may otherwise be rejected or thrown away.

Range will benefit growers and suppliers, Woolworths

Woolworths said the range would also directly benefit Australian growers and suppliers who will be able to sell more produce to the supermarket, wasting less in the process.

The first wave of The Odd Bunch produce will include potatoes, apples, pears and carrots with more items appearing on shelves in the coming months based on the season, supply and store location.

Available in-store and online

The Odd Bunch range will be available in-store and online, and will be brought to life as quirky characters, including Peculiar Parsnips, Blemished Beetroots and Motley Mangoes, who aspire to be tasted, not wasted.

“Our customers tell us they want to see a lot less food go to waste, so it makes no sense that farmers have not had a market for their produce just because of a bump or blemish,” said Tjeerd Jegen, Woolworths Managing Director of Australian Supermarkets.

The Odd Bunch produce is just as delicious and healthy as the better looking produce,” Mr Jegen said. “What’s more, our customers can benefit from cheaper fruit and veg whilst helping Aussie farmers sell more of their produce,” he said.