Zap Trends 2015: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
As publicists, it’s our job to be “in the know” and constantly stay on top of the latest trends. And, as a health nut and foodie, I’m always looking for the latest food trends and developments. Which is why when a friend asked me recently if I had heard about the “Ugly Fruit Movement” in Europe, I was instantly intrigued.
Let me break it down for you: it makes sense that retailers would want to buy the prettiest and freshest produce to sell to consumers, but what happens to those less-than-perfect fruits/veggies that don’t meet standards? Currently, any produce that doesn’t fit the bill is thrown into the trash or left unpicked altogether. French supermarket chain, Intermarche, recently changed all that.
They recently launched a campaign entitled “Les Fruits & Légumes Moches” which translates as “The Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables,” and aims to highlight issues of food waste and increase access to healthy produce. Essentially, Intermarche has agreed to sell these “aesthetically challenged” fruits and vegetables in store at a discounted price (up to 30 percent off). They launched the initiative with a cheeky ad campaign and video that of course went viral but, more importantly, the produce sold out at record rates.
Clearly, the French hit the nail on the head. In the past few years, numerous European grocery chains have caught on. US grocers, however, have not followed suit—which means that our domestically produced gnarly vegetables continue to end up in the garbage. As you can imagine, in the long run, this has a devastating impact. In fact, according to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), approximately 40 percent of food in the US goes uneaten.
Hunger in America is a huge issue, especially considering so many families can’t afford to eat the recommended five daily portions of fruits and vegetables. It’s my prediction (or hope) that in 2015, “ugly” becomes the new “pretty.” As we have in the past, I predict that US grocery stores will once again look to the French for inspiration. After all, beauty comes from within, right?
- Morgan Bellock, Account Director