Earlier this summer, Intermarche, a French supermarket chain, decided to raise awareness about food waste in a creative way: by shining a spotlight on “inglorious fruits and vegetables.” These unsung heroes of the produce aisle often never even make it from the producer to grocery stores, but Intermarche decided to change the way that food consumers perceive imperfect fruits and veggies by incentivizing purchasing them.
“Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” was a fantastic campaign that Marcel, a Paris-based advertising agency helped bring to life at Intermarche. The campaign involved creating a separate display area for all of the “inglorious fruits and vegetables,” as well as an aisle of beautifully packaged fruit juices and soups made from the lumpy, bumpy, bruised and misshapen produce. All of these products were sold for 30 percent less than the more attractive produce that is normally found in supermarkets, which gave customers the chance to save money while becoming more conscious about food waste.
According to Intermarche, an astounding 300 million tons of food is thrown away every year in France. The European Union recently declared 2014 the “Year Against Food Waste,” which inspired Intermarche to do its part in educating the public about food waste. Intermarche is the 3rd largest supermarket chain in France, and its campaign, Les Fruits & Legumes Moches, a.k.a. Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables, proved to be incredibly successful and far-reaching.
By shining a spotlight on formerly unseen grocery store fixtures such as “the failed lemon” and “the disfigured eggplant,” the products that growers normally throw away, Intermarche sparked a lot of enthusiasm in its customers and helped them all save money in the process. According to Intermarche, the campaign reached 13 million people through social media after one month, and on average, 1.2 tons of food was sold per store in the first two days of the campaign alone. Basically, “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” became a glorious and successful effort to raise awareness about food waste while providing nutritious produce to consumers.
What do you think about this food waste campaign? Would you eat “inglorious” fruits and vegetables?