Admit it. We all buy products at least partly based on how they look. And, we eat our food with our eyes as well as our taste buds. But, just because something doesn’t look perfect, doesn’t mean that it can’t perfectly meet a consumer’s needs and even help with sustainability issues.
Realizing that more than 300 million tons of food gets thrown away each year, the third-largest supermarket chain in France decided to take action. It put together a successful campaign called “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” to provide less-than-perfect-looking foods at a discount. The campaign featured products such as the grotesque apple, ridiculous potato, hideous orange, failed lemon, and ugly carrot. The ugly fruits and veggies got their own aisle in the supermarket, unique label, and were sold at a 30% discount. Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables were also produced into a line of popular soups and fruit juices.
The results were overwhelming positive from consumers. The average sale per store for the first two days was 1.2 tons. The products sold out in days, overall store traffic increased 24%, and more than 13 million people were reached by the campaign, many of whom called for expansion of the program to all grocery stores in France.
Go ahead. Eat the ugly fruits and vegetables – they’re good for you, and good for the world.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Discuss food and sustainability.
- Poll students: Are they influenced by the appearance of foods? What foods do they throw away?
- Show the campaign video:
- Divide students into teams. Have each team select a sustainability topic that interests them.
- Have the teams each develop a short promotional campaign to highlight their topic.
Source: UK Daily Mail