Retailers Believe Consumers Will Buy Wonky Veg

wonky-vegSenior supermarket managers believe consumers will buy “wonky veg”, according to new research.

Specialists in retail predictive applications Blue Yonder questioned supermarket managers in the UK, the US, Germany and France and found that the more senior the manager, the more enthusiastic they were about whether customers would buy discounted wonky veg.

In the UK, 43% of junior managers, 55% of middle managers, 57% of senior managers and 77% of grocery company directors replied “Yes, definitely”.

Blue Yonder questioned 152 supermarket managers from throughout the UK for the survey, from junior managers up to director, in June 2016.

“This research reveals 90% of grocery managers feel customers would be happy with discounts on imperfect fruit and vegetables.  This has the benefit of overcoming the waste problem in the supply chain, and is clearly of benefit to all.”

There was a similar response from the US grocery market where Blue Yonder spoke to 300 managers, 91% of which said shoppers would either “definitely” or “possibly” buy discounted wonky veg.

Meanwhile in Germany there was even more enthusiasm.  Blue Yonder questioned 150 managers there and 94% said it would work.  Not a single supermarket director in Germany believed customers would turn down wonky veg.

This development matters for the UK’s supermarkets, which have pledged to reduce food and drink waste by a fifth by 2025.

The Courtauld Commitment 2025 values the waste at more than £19bn a year and it has been negotiated by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) charity, working on behalf of government.

Retail is an industry characterised by its fine margins, Blue Yonder says; even the smallest percentage change can have a significant impact on the profitability and success of a retailer – in today’s market place, these finer details are critical.

Knowing how much of each product is likely to be sold each day, and how much will go to waste, requires careful planning.

Blue Yonder retail industry director Matt Hopkins says that everyone’s a winner: “In a struggle to remain competitive, grocers find themselves throwing away an increasing quantity of goods on a daily basis.  This issue has intensified as customers have become accustomed to having not only a wide variety of choice, but also the freshest selection available.

“This research reveals 90% of grocery managers feel customers would be happy with discounts on imperfect fruit and vegetables.  This has the benefit of overcoming the waste problem in the supply chain, and is clearly of benefit to all.”


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