Wonky veg sales soar 16% as 4.8m customers look for cheaper ways to shop

Wonky veg sales increased to 16.7% this month, up by 672,000 shoppers since October 2021 as consumers look for cheaper ways to shop amid the cost-of-living crisis.

The data recorded by Kantar found that 4.8 million people are buying imperfect fruit and veg.

“Shoppers are also finding other ways to get the items they want for less. People are pretty savvy at seeking out best value and retailers are expanding their ranges to help them do this,” Kantar head of retail and consumer insight Fraser McKevitt said.

“We have seen grocers making a virtue of visually imperfect fruit and vegetables in recent years, allowing them to carry on offering the fresh products consumers want but at a cheaper price.”

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Many of the UK’s major grocery retailers have launched their own lines including Tesco’s ‘Imperfectly Perfect’ initiative which has saved 50 million packs of fruit and vegetables since its launch, and Morrisons ‘Naturally Wonky’ range which began in 2015.

McKevitt said that “many shoppers have been converted”, with sales of these ranges “up collectively by 38% this month.”

Big 4 grocer Sainsbury’s also offers an ‘Imperfectly Tasty’ range and discount grocer Lidl announced this summer that it would be selling “stunted” fruit and vegetables affected by the drought to support farmers and reduce food waste.

This comes as shoppers across the UK are looking to reduce the amount they spend on their grocery bills as food price inflation rose to its highest recorded rate in September with shoppers paying 10.6% more than the same time last year, according to data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) – NielsenIQ index.

McKevitt added: “Based on our numbers, the average household is facing a £643 jump in their annual grocery bill to £5,265 if they continue to buy the same items.

“Taking that at a basket level, that is an extra £3.04 on top of the cost of the average shopping trip last year which was £21.89.”

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