Belfast Telegraph

Asda ahead of curve on wonky veg

By Donald C McFetridge

It seems there's almost no stopping the supermarkets these days in their attempts to remain innovative and imaginative as they struggle to please customers.

Earlier this month, Asda introduced their wonky vegetables to critical acclaim and are, apparently, struggling to meet consumer demand, such has been the success of their clever campaign.

The supermarket chain is offering a 5kg box of wonky veg for only £3.50. It claims the contents will adequately feed a family of four for a week.

But, surely, this begs the question, what constitutes 'wonky' and what constitutes 'normal' in the vegetable world?

It appears to me that the definition of wonky is most likely to be arbitrarily based on the views of the supermarket buyers.

But did anyone ever ask the customers what they considered acceptable? I don't think so.

Personally, I couldn't care less what shape the carrots were originally, just as long as they taste great when they arrive on my dinner plate.

Meanwhile, over at Tesco, they have been trying to get the croissant problem straightened out, because, apparently, 75% of customers surveyed stated they prefer their croissants straight, as opposed to crescent-shaped, claiming they find it too difficult to get the jam into the corners.

The Tesco croissant debate has led to a (not-unexpected) outpouring of witty comments and cynical posts in the Twittersphere, providing much hilarity for the general public.

And I must say that I, too, find the notion of wonky vegetables and straight croissants extremely amusing.

However, it strikes me that the home economists over at the supermarkets could try to find better things on which to focus in their R&D kitchens.

I most certainly approve of the Asda wonky veg idea - not just because it's a clever marketing concept, but because it will help prevent the monumental amount of food waste which we currently witness in this country.

On the other hand, I think Tesco should concentrate on getting their accounts straight and leave the croissants alone.

Donald C McFetridge is a retail analyst at Ulster University

Belfast Telegraph


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