Some supermarkets are now selling something they call ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables; those which they want to sell but which apparently don’t meet the general guidelines for aesthetic beauty.
In a world that is increasingly obsessed by appearance, I can’t say I’m surprised by this, but I do wonder what these guidelines actually are.
These supposedly unpleasing to the eye fruit include bananas that are allegedly too bendy.
I’m now visualising a production line supervisor armed with a ruler, separating them into piles. There are also apples that look like they have been ravaged by some sort of strange skin disease, knobbly courgettes and stunted cauliflower.
How you can ever proclaim a cauliflower ‘wonky’ beats me.
They’re pretty weird-looking in the first place! I wonder what the brand guidelines say...
Strangely enough, I have actually bought so-called wonky, imperfect fruit and vegetables that look far better than the ones originally considered perfect.
It’s almost like some creative team in an ivory tower has dreamed up a new marketing idea yet completely forgotten to take on board the fact that all good retail branding ideas are only as good as their final implementation.
So, in this case, they’re at the mercy of the pickers and packers.
One local supermarket – which shall remain nameless – put out vast punnets of strawberries last year in boxes all emblazoned with the word ‘raspberries’!
They also seem perfectly happy in sometimes selling packs of burger buns that are charred to within an inch of their lives, so getting wonky fruit in the correct bags does seem a bit of a tall order.
But my favourite experience of this new directive by far was in a supermarket last week which has started selling fruit under the brand name A Little Less Than Perfect.
Less than perfect? The box of so-called hand-picked raspberries I selected were literally slushing around so alarmingly I’d have needed a straw to get through them. And as for ‘hand-picked’, who picked them? Edward Scissorhands?
They’d have been better off sticking them in a tub and calling it coulis....
MUM’S THE WORD
I was treated to an almighty tantrum display when shopping the other day. A small girl was really going for it. She’d literally screamed herself purple with rage and was crawling around on her knees because she’d been told she couldn’t have a magazine, or eat the sweets she’d picked up.
Her dad was half-heartedly trying to diffuse the situation, but she sounded like an angry wild animal. Through all this, her completely disinterested mum was thumbing through the magazines like it was a library not a supermarket.
But what really got me was when she eventually ambled over, she told the child off for ‘not speaking properly’ – all spat through a muffled mouthful of sausage roll she was eating herself while making her way round the store. Mixed messages!
GOODBYE TO A GLITTERING PART OF NIGHTCLUB HISTORY
Sad to hear that flamboyant King of Clubs, Peter Stringfellow, died last week.
Way before he ran adult clubs, in 1980 his Covent Garden nightclub, Stringfellows, was the most exciting – and expensive – nightclubbing experience the West End.
If you were lucky enough to get past the doormen you’d gain entrance to the hallowed black and silver, glittering interior, all flashing lights and silver butterflies.
You would then pay a fortune for just one drink at the vast bar while those with real money knocked back Veuve Cliquot, or dance downstairs on a black glass floor while spotting celebrities like George Michael and Shakin’ Stevens.
I remember getting chatted up by a welsh Elvis impersonator in white leather who spilled his rum and coke down my dress.
Oh, the glamour.