inglorious fruits and vegetables

Intermarché – “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables”

inglorious fruits and vegetables

I just came across this story and even though it is not news, I love it so much I thought I should share it here.

Back in March, Intermarché (France’s third largest supermarket chain) launched a fantastic campaign against food waste. “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” (or “Les Fruits & Légumes Moches” in French) highlights the plight of non calibrated, imperfect fruits and vegetables.

Reducing food waste is an essential part of fighting the current World Food Crisis.  Fresh produce waste not only increases prices of other fresh produce but also takes a toll on the environment as energy is used to produce, process, transport and dispose of it. In the UK it is estimated that 40% fruit and veg never reaches the shelves because it doesn’t LOOK good enough.

Intermarché decided to raise consumer awareness about food waste by selling “ugly” fruits and vegetables. The fresh produces were retailed 30% cheaper than their calibrated counterpart, as Intermarché was able to buy them cheaper from producers  who would have otherwise thrown them away.

Intermarché created a superb advertising campaign (with beautiful pictures by Patrice de Villiers) backed up by dedicated aisles, labelling and spots on sales receipt for the “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” .

Customers were also able to purchase ” Inglorious Carrot Soup” and “Inglorious Orange Juice” in a bid to prove that the non-lookers were as tasty as they beautiful relatives.

The trial run of “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” took place in Provins and was extremely well received by shoppers. It was deemed a success with 1.2 Tons  of “ugly fruits and vegetables” sold in the first 2 days.

In spite of the success of the campaign Intermarché will apparently not be rolling the campaign over nationally as the logistics would prove to difficult on a bigger scale. Instead they will leave it to individual stores, able to source and retail their own “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables”, to decide if they want to take part in the campaign.

While some of our supermarkets such as Waitrose, Tesco and Sainsbury are making some efforts to sell misshapen fruits and vegetables, would not it be great to see a campaign like the one ran by Intermarché in the UK?


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