If I told you that you could buy healthy, nutritious produce that looked a little different for 30 to 60 percent off the cost of regular produce, would you be interested? Or if you were a grocer and you could raise store traffic and sales and reduce food waste by selling different—some say ugly—produce, would you be interested? Worldwide, both consumers and grocers are saying a loud yes to “ugly” produce. Yet, the economic giant that is the United States has not seen any grocers bite. So, as the business case for ugly fruit and veg keeps building, will U.S. grocers grab this low-hanging fruit, or will they leave it to rot in the land of plenty?
Globally we have a substantial wasted produce problem; 20 to 40 percent of all producegoes uneaten, mostly because it does not meet strict grocer cosmetic standards for size, shape, or color. At the same time, one in two people on the planet are malnourished—and certainly in need of more affordable, nutritious produce. What if the solution to these issues was staring us right in the face? Could ugly produce sales be the key?
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