There has been a quiet revolution in the supermarket fruit and vegetable aisle. After years of physical perfection, shoppers are becoming more comfortable with wonky fruit and veg. That is one of the discoveries of our global study of 750 grocery managers on the delivery of customer experience in the omnichannel world.
This is big news for the UK’s supermarkets, which have pledged to reduce food and drink waste by a fifth by 2025. This pledge is part of The Courtauld Commitment, negotiated by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) charity, working on behalf of government.
Supermarket waste has been under scrutiny since it was revealed that more than £19bn a year is thrown away. This is startling when you consider that retail is an industry characterized by its fine margins. Even the smallest percentage change can have a significant impact on profitability and success.
What do the grocery retailers say?
We questioned supermarket managers in the UK, the US, Germany and France and found that grocery manager are convinced that customers are willing to purchase discounted wonky veg. In the UK, 89% of managers felt shoppers would either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ buy discounted wonky fruit and veg.
There was a similar response from the US grocery market where 91% of managers replied ‘definitely’ or ‘possibly’.
Meanwhile in Germany, there was even more enthusiasm – 94% of managers believe selling wonky veg would work. Not a single supermarket director in Germany believed customers would turn down wonky veg.
Optimize pricing on wonky veg
In a struggle to remain competitive, grocers find themselves throwing away an increasing quantity of goods on a daily basis. This issue has intensified as customers are used to have a wide variety of choice and the freshest selection available. Selling wonky fruit and veg has the benefit of overcoming the waste problem in the supply chain, and is clearly of benefit to all.
This illustrates the importance of the use of price optimization solutions, which could help to reduce waste. The solution predicts what the customer is prepared to pay for a specific product, in a specific store on a certain day.
Campaigners for reducing food waste are delighted by these developments as fruit and veg, with the wrong size, shape or colour, are now being used, not wasted.
Download the full findings and whitepaper here.
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