Coles has joined supermarket rival Woolworths with an initiative to cut waste and make fresh produce cheaper.
Coles will now sell fruit and vegetables that have previously been considered unattractive under the banner of I’m Perfect at cheaper prices, from as little as $1.40 per kilo for certain items, it’s reported.
The Coles range of “flawed-but-adored” produce is being trialled in Victorian and South Australian stores.
Woolworths was the first supermarket in Australia to introduce The Odd Bunch fruit and veggies range in November 2014 – a collection of fresh products that “don’t always look perfect, but taste great and come at a cheaper price”, the supermarket said at the time.
Coles General Manager of Produce, Brad Gorman, said the new initiative was one way that Coles was working with suppliers to reduce food waste.
“Our customers know that regardless of shape, size or any small cosmetic blemishes, Coles produce is fresh and bursting with flavour,” said Mr Gorman.
“So when we were thinking how to package produce that looked a little less than perfect, we thought we’d celebrate the fact that great-tasting fruit and veggies come in all shapes and sizes.
“The I’m Perfect range will introduce our customers to millions of pieces of fruit and veg that they may otherwise never have met.
“We have previously worked with our suppliers to reduce their food waste by redirecting produce that doesn’t look the best to other value-added products such as Coles Own Brand zucchini noodles, sweet potato noodles, sweet potato chips and broccoli and cauliflower rice.”
Coles’ efforts to reduce food waste extends beyond the standard fruit and vegetable aisles, with a range of Coles branded banana products, including frozen banana pieces, banana bread and muffins, all made using bananas that might otherwise have gone unsold.
“All of these products help reduce food waste and increase overall crop yields by utilising vegetable pieces that typically would not be sold at retail level,” said Mr Gorman.
The Coles I’m Perfect range has been well received by suppliers, such as Adelaide Hills apple grower, Tony Ceravolo.
“All of our fruit is grown outdoors and exposed to the elements and while we do our best to minimise weather impacts, inevitably Mother Nature sometimes proves too strong for us,” said Mr Ceravolo.
“It’s win-win-win – a win for customers, a win for us, and a win for reducing food waste.”
Coles have started selling their perfectly edible, but slightly ugly fruit in a bid to reduce waste ??? pic.twitter.com/9reg94nPuB
— Sunrise (@sunriseon7) May 20, 2019
What’s included in the Coles ‘I’m Perfect’ range?
The Coles range of “I’m Perfect” fruit and vegetables is available in Victorian and South Australian stores. Shoppers can pick from:
- Apples (2kg)
- Pears (2kg)
- Oranges (3kg)
- Lemons (1kg)
- Onions (2kg)
- Carrots (2.5kg)
- Sweet Potatoes (2kg)
Picture credits: TK Kurikawa/shutterstock.com