Have you been in Asda recently? Chances are if you do your weekly shop there you will have come across a rather weird looking box in the vegetable isle. These special boxes are being used to get punters to buy vegetables that they usually wouldn’t pick up. Today on the blog we’re taking a luke at some vegetables and what the average shopper is doing with carrots and peppers that would usually be thrown in the bin or left as the lonely veg on the supermarket shelf.
Firstly, let’s give a little insight in to what exactly these special boxes are. Referred to as the Wonky Box, each £3.50 box contains an assortment of vegetables that customers would usually turn their noses up at. It could be a carrot with a few strands sticking out or a turnip with a hole on top. Essentially, it is all the veg that farmers find themselves having to get rid of because we the consumer have very high standards on what to pick. Throwing all this “wasted” veg inside a sealed box where you can’t tell what’s inside is supposed to add a level of mystery to the shop. As The Guardian points out, the boxes contain carrots, potatoes, peppers, cucumber, cabbage, leeks, parsnips and onions. The supermarket guarantees that even though they may be some cosmetic issues, the vegetables are all good to eat and will feed a family of four for a week.
The mix is also trying to be less impactful on the environment. We’ve all been there when the option to lift a pack of three peppers wrapped in plastic that you’ll dump is much more convenient than simply lifting and weighing three peppers yourself. A handy cardboard box chock full of lovely vibrant veg is fresh, pretty to look at and peaks interest in what you can do with it.
— Cherry Cheeks (@claireyp9) February 24, 2016
People have been using the boxes to experiment a little bit in the kitchen and try something new for the first time. A quick search on Twitter and you’ll see people making everything from French onion soup (as pictured above) to their weekly roast and so much more. Asda has said that the boxes have helped to sell more than 160 tonnes of veg that would otherwise be dumped for not meeting industry standards. All of this comes just a few years after a massive campaign was launched in France to get shoppers to embrace “ugly” veg and stop there from being such high food wastage.
Other supermarkets are following suit here in the UK, with Waitrose Packaging and Tesco also dipping their toes in to the idea of explaining to consumers what they do with their veg in new ways. We love the idea of being able to save money and the environment in a one-two punch that results in tasty dinners at a fraction of the price. If this incentive does one thing, hopefully it will be that people aren’t afraid to experiment with new foods and can try their hands at making dishes that would otherwise eat in to their weekly budget.
Have you bought a wonky box and made something incredible? Let us know by getting in touch or tweeting us your photos!