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....