The odd bunch – ugly tastes just as good

Count­down stores na­tion­wide is cel­e­brat­ing ugly fruit and veges with the launch of The Odd Bunch, a new ini­tia­tive de­signed to help cut food waste, take more pro­duce from grow­ers, and make healthy food more af­ford­able for cus­tomers.

The Orchardist - - Kiwifruit -

In the first ini­tia­tive of its kind in New Zealand, The Odd Bunch makes the ‘ugly’ pro­duce grow­ers would nor­mally dis­card due to small im­per­fec­tions or cos­metic dam­age avail­able to cus­tomers at a re­duced price. Cus­tomers who don’t mind a few hail spots on their fruit, or mis­shapen but still nu­tri­tious veg­eta­bles, will find the cheaper pro­duce in clearly iden­ti­fi­able and re­cy­clable pack­ag­ing within Count­down’s pro­duce range.

The first pro­duce to join The Odd Bunch will be hail-dam­aged stone fruit and car­rots, with more fruit and veg­eta­bles ap­pear­ing on shelves in the com­ing months. As with all things Mother Na­ture has to of­fer, The Odd Bunch avail­abil­ity is based on both the sea­son and sup­ply, and stock will vary from store to store. The Odd Bunch will also be avail­able on­line when it is stocked in-store.

Count­down’s gen­eral man­ager mer­chan­dise, Chris Fisher, says The Odd Bunch is about re­duc­ing food waste, sup­port­ing grow­ers by tak­ing more of their crop, and help­ing to make healthy food more af­ford­able for Ki­wis.

“Shop­pers have long favoured and de­manded per­fect-look­ing pro­duce, but we hope to challenge that think­ing with The Odd Bunch. It makes sense on so many lev­els, for shop­pers, grow­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment.

“There are any num­ber of rea­sons why pro­duce might look a lit­tle un­usual, from grow­ing at an odd an­gle to be­ing af­fected by the weather. It still tastes great and is just as nu­tri­tious as reg­u­lar pro­duce. With The Odd Bunch Count­down can help our sup­pli­ers sell pro­duce they may have typ­i­cally dis­carded and we think many shop­pers will for­give a lit­tle ug­li­ness to help com­bat food waste and save,” he says. Jenny Mar­shall, spokesper­son for Love Food Hate Waste, says that they are very sup­port­ive of The Odd Bunch as it all helps Ki­wis’ food waste.

Kevin Wil­cox, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of A S Wil­cox and Sons says they are ex­cited to be sup­ply­ing onions, car­rots and pota­toes for The Odd Bunch launch.

“As a grower we take pride in sup­ply­ing pre­mium qual­ity veg­eta­bles, how­ever, it’s frus­trat­ing to wit­ness a por­tion of our pro­duce go­ing to waste sim­ply on ac­count of shape or other cos­metic de­fect that has no bear­ing on the taste or nu­tri­tional value of the veg­etable. Count­down is to be con­grat­u­lated on launch­ing this pro­gramme which will al­low con­sumers to par­tic­i­pate in re­duc­ing food waste.”

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