Fruits and vegetables are facing a dilemma-- 300 million tons of them 
are being thrown away each year. The reason for the waste lies behind 
the appearance of the produce. Specifically, anything that doesn’t fit 
the norm is tossed. Intermarché, the third largest supermarket chain in 
France, decided to recover imperfect and undesirable fruits and 
vegetables. As a result, Intermarché launched the “Inglorious Fruits 
and Vegetables”, a glorious campaign to reduce food waste. It 
ingeniously markets the unique features of five fruits and vegetables 
that would generally be thrown out: The Ridiculous Potato, The Failed 
Lemon, The Unfortunate Clementine, The Disfigured Eggplant, and The Ugly 
Carrot. As well, these unattractive fruits and vegetables are sold at a 
thirty percent discount over the pretty ones, raising awareness about 
food waste.

Intermarché purchases from their growers the products that would 
usually be thrown away and instead, sell them in their stores. To get 
people to understand that these fruits and vegetables were no different 
than the prettier ones, they designed and distributed inglorious 
vegetable soups and inglorious fruit juices. Overall, it was an 
immediate success. On average, 1.2 tons of the fruits and vegetables 
were sold per store during the first two days. In addition, there was a 
24% overall store traffic increase.

This is a brilliant way to refocus people onto food quality rather than 
its appearance. This initiative alone has increased awareness about food 
waste, reaching over 13 million people after one month.

Coorsh, Karolyn. "Would You Buy 'ugly' Vegetables? That's How a Grocery 
Chain Fights Waste." CTVNews. 29 July 2014.

Kimberly D. Hafner
Undergraduate Intern
2014 BioEnergy & Sustainability School
Soil and Water Science Department
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