Loblaw’s ‘ugly’ food line provides big savings

Smaller, misshapen produce costs up to 30% less than traditional items



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no name Naturally Imperfect potatoesLoblaw’s new line is practically imperfect in every way.

The retailer is jumping on the ugly produce bandwagon with the launch of a No Name Naturally Imperfect line of fruit and vegetables.

Starting with potatoes and apples, customers can purchase smaller, misshapen produce at Real Canadian Superstores and No Frills locations in Ontario, and some Maxi stores in Quebec.

The imperfect produce costs up to 30% less than traditional items in the produce section, according to a Loblaw press statement.

Fruit and veggies in the program were previously used in juices, sauces, soups, or may have not have been harvested due to their small size.

“We often focus too much on the look of produce rather than the taste,” said Ian Gordon, senior VP, Loblaw Brands in a release. “Once you peel or cut an apple you can’t tell it once had a blemish or was misshapen.”

While the discounts of the produce will benefit consumers, Loblaw says the program will also help farmers have a market for the smaller, misshapen fruit they would otherwise throw away.

Loblaw is looking at rolling out the Naturally Imperfect brand nationally by the end of the year, with an expanded assortment of items available.

Ugly produce took centre stage last year when Intermarche, France’s third-largest supermarket held a successful campaign where it devoted floor space to ugly produce marked down 30%. Likewise, in Lisbon, the Ugly Fruit co-operative sells produce other retailers pass up.

Closer to home, Montreal-based Second Life has rescued 956 pounds of ugly fruits and vegetables refused by grocers. The company made arrangements with 12 producers in the Montreal region to collect strangely-shaped produce.

And Calgary’s Red Hat Co-operative markets its less-than-perfect produce as “The Misfits” and started selling it at discounted prices at some Sobeys and Co-op stores in Alberta.

Article originally published on Canadian Grocer


4 comments on “Loblaw’s ‘ugly’ food line provides big savings

  1. Hope this would increase food yield while keeping the same amount of farmland and using less resources. It will take a few years to see if we are actually saving the produce or just a gimmick to shift the stock from perfect to “imperfect” without benefits.
    I mean, if we are eating same amount of produce. The soup and canned ones has to come from somewhere, imperfect or otherwise.


  2. An truly excellent idea !


  3. I like it! Haven’t seen it at my Superstore outlet yet though.

    I troll the clearance racks in all fresh food areas of the grocery stores – Meat that is still good, but too close to the expiry date – if I can use it or freeze it to use later, I’ll take it with a discount for sure. Scored a huge cauliflower with a couple of small blemishes that were easy to cut off the other day – got a nice round of Brie cheese that is yummy for 30% off this week too. I particularly like to get yogurt on discount – it can last a couple of months past the ‘sell by’ dates and be perfectly edible.

    Our society has become overly concerned about ‘expiry’ dates on food which relate to when it can be sold by, not when it loses its value as food – there are lots of bargains to be found in the stores as long as you can process or store it safely to avoid spoilage.

    You do have to make an informed decision when considering things that can go off quickly, but I know if I can realistically use it and choose based on that. I don’t buy discounted seafood as it is not a wise choice – but I can usually find great deals on things I know I can use or store appropriately.


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