We’ve been asked over recent weeks and months if we sell ‘ugly’ fruit and veg. Firstly I don’t think any of our produce is less appealing than any other, but the questions have prompted me to think about the times when we have decided to reduce the specification on the fresh produce we source so we can make the most of the crop when we’re hit with unseasonal weather.
Luckily for all of us, we’re not seeing the same bad weather conditions that we have done in recent years but, come rain or shine, some strawberries just don’t grow as big as the others, or an apple will naturally have a few blemishes.
I wouldn’t go as far as saying these are ‘ugly’, and I can assure you they share the taste of their picture-perfect counterparts, but their slight quirks mean they can be sold as part of our basics range, and by doing so we also help to reduce waste.
Our three own-label ranges - basics, by Sainsbury's and Taste the Difference - allow us to use fruit and veg from growers very efficiently and give our customers the choice to buy what they want. For instance, one orchard will produce apples that all taste fantastic, but if some were smaller than expected or an irregular shape they'd go into a 'basics' bag, while others that we know are the size and shape many customers would view as just right would go into the other ranges.
If you shop from our basics range of fruit and veg, you might not show them off in your fruit bowl or vegetable rack but the leeks are still good for soup, potatoes are perfect for mashing and strawberries will perk up a smoothie.
Judith Batchelar, Director of Sainsbury’s brand.