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Wonky Veg Policy At Supermarkets, Including Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons, Co-op And Aldi

05/02/2016 19:15 | Updated 22 June 2016
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Supermarket Asda has launched the UK's first ever 'wonky veg box' allowing shoppers to buy imperfect vegetables in bulk to feed their families.

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The box will cost £3.50 and comes filled with seasonal vegetables and salad items including carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, leeks, parsnips and onions.

Yet with growing scrutiny of the sheer waste of 'wonky' fruit and veg, where do Britain's other big supermarkets stand on misshapen produce?

  • Aldi
    shutterstock
  • Budget supermarket Aldi is Britain's sixth largest by market share and says it works to sell misshapen veg through its Everyday Essentials range.

    Aldi told The Huffington Post UK on Friday:

    We sell a variety of fruit and vegetables with different shapes and skin finishes, including peppers, mushrooms, onions, and apples. These products are available in all stores and are cheaper than our other core range fruit and vegetable products.

    For example, since introducing our Everyday Essentials potatoes in January 2014, we have sold over 34,000 tonnes of potatoes which would have otherwise fallen outside of our specifications. This has increased our potato suppliers crop utilisation by over 17 per cent.

    This year we are trialling the relaxation of size specifications for one of our carrot lines and on one of our onion lines. If these prove popular with our customers they may become a permanent part of the range.
  • Co-op
    © Phil Broom / Alamy
  • The Co-operative is Britain's fifth largest supermarket by market share - despite operating smaller 'convenience' stores in neighbourhoods and high streets.

    Unlike the other supermarkets, it has much less space to carry full produce lines - and therefore a range with more varied specifications.

    A Co-op spokesperson told HuffPost UK:

    “We do sell smaller or mis-shaped fruit and vegetables, including apples and potatoes, in our stores when producers have difficulty meeting standards because of growing conditions.

    "We continue to evaluate customer feedback and hope to widen our policy further in the future.”
  • Morrisons
    Heidi Coppock-Beard via Getty Images
  • Morrisons is Britain's fourth largest grocer and says it sells a permanent range of wonky vegetables at a discounted price.

    Although declining to comment on the development of Asda's assortment of mixed veg, a Morrisons source said that some customers appreciate being able to buy quantities of individual wonky vegetables, as opposed to mixed pre-prepared boxes.

    The supermarket sells wonky veg, such as carrots, which are "beautiful on the inside" according to its packaging.
  • Sainsbury's
    © Picture Partners / Alamy
  • Sainsbury's is Britain's third biggest supermarket and says it has a number of initiatives to put wonky veg to good use.

    It's three brands, Basics, by Sainsbury's and Taste The Difference allow it to make the most of all the produce supplied by its farmers.

    Sainsbury's told HuffPost UK:

    "We’re always talking to our customers and we know waste is a hot topic.

    "For example, the parsnips sold in our basics range will have large, small, tapered and even ‘wonky’ veg in the bag.

    "When a fresh item isn’t right for any of our three tiers we will, wherever possible, use it somewhere else, like in our apple juice or ready-made mashed potatoes."
  • Tesco
    © Ian Francis stock / Alamy
  • Tesco, Britain's biggest supermarket, says it is trying to sell more and more misshapen fruit and veg in its stores.

    Like other stores, it uses its cheapest Everyday Value range to sell produce that might otherwise go unpicked by shoppers.

    Tesco told HuffPost UK:

    “We want to serve our customers a little better every day – that’s why we’ve done a lot to make sure greater quantities of ‘wonky’ fruit and veg are available at Tesco.

    For years we’ve also included a variety of produce of different shapes and sizes in our Everyday Value range.”

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