Too tiny, too bumpy, too freckled or just too plain ol’ ugly…
This produce ain’t pretty, but it’s coming to a Kroger near you in 2019 as part of a new plan to reduce food waste across the company.
The question is, will you buy it?
Pickuliar Picks brand will soon be at a Kroger near you
Nicole Davis, senior innovation manager for Our Brands at Kroger, told attendees the grocer plans to launch a new store brand called Pickuliar Picks for that purpose.
Pickuliar Picks will specialize in hawking misshapen produce that doesn’t meet common consumer aesthetic standards.
“When produce comes in or is grown and comes off the farm, if it doesn’t meet a specific spec, color, shape or size, it gets rejected. It’s the ‘ugly’ fruit that we can’t sell,” Davis explained, noting that six billion pounds of produce falls into this category.
“They are too tiny, too bumpy or have freckles on the outside, but still taste delicious and are perfectly food-safe, [so] why can’t we capture some of that and use it to feed people, which is our ultimate goal?” Davis said.
The Pickuliar Picks line is expected to launch with tomatoes, bell peppers, limes, yellow onions and gala apples.
Kroger hasn’t yet announced pricing for the “ugly” produce, but we hope it will be offered at a discount to conventional produce, much like Walmart does it.
Pickular Picks is part of a larger initiative at the company called Zero Hunger | Zero Waste. This vision for the future of the company will see Kroger eliminate all food waste across its stores by 2025, among other goals.
Walmart loves ‘ugly’ produce, too!
Meanwhile, Kroger isn’t the only major grocery chain to hit on the idea of selling unusual-looking yet perfectly edible produce.
Back in 2016, Walmart started sales of “ugly” apples bearing the name “I’m Perfect” — a play on the word “imperfect.”
At the time, a Walmart spokesperson told Clark.com that a five-pound bag of “I’m Perfect” apples cost $4.93, while a three-pound bag of regular apples was $4.74.
Walmart has also experimented with selling “Spuglies,” which are Russet potatoes with are marked with unsightly exterior blemishes because of growing conditions.