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Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

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About this Initiative

Globally, one third of food produced for human consumption is wasted. This includes millions of tonnes of perfectly edible fruits and vegetables. Why do these fruits and vegetables never make it to our plates? Simply, they just aren’t pretty enough.

 

Too big? Too small? Got a blemish? Maybe a scar? Bit of a wonky shape? The beauty standards of modern food production mean that supermarkets will only accept the most beautiful. 

In 2014 Marcel Worldwide and the supermarket Intermarché combined forces to educate and raise awareness amongst consumers about this industry-wide beauty standard and to give the spotlight to the often forgotten imperfectly perfect fruits and vegetables. Rather than ploughing them back into the field, or sending them to landfill, the supermarket bought the produce which would ordinarily not fit beauty standards. They then sold them at a 30% discount. 

Alongside the in-store discount was a campaign to celebrate the beauty of produce like the Ridiculous Potato, the Hideous Orange and the Failed Lemon. These once ignored fruits and vegetables increased store traffic by 24%, increased fruit and vegetable sales by 10% and reached over 13 million people online.

This campaign was an industry leader. Just two years later France passed a new law which forbade supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food. Instead they now must donate them to charities and food banks.