Embrace the beauty in ugly fruit and veg, says Mintel

By Noli Dinkovski

- Last updated on GMT

Consumers are open to eating ugly looking produce
Consumers are open to eating ugly looking produce

Related tags Nutrition Vegetable

Caterers should not be discouraged from using ugly fruit and veg as almost half of UK adults (48%) are happy to eat them if they are good enough quality, new research from Mintel has found.

The survey also revealed that 56% of UK adults feel food retailers should do more to reduce the amount of food they throw away.

Kiti Soininen, head of UK food, drink and foodservice research at Mintel, said it is clear that consumers are open to ugly produce, but added that oddly-shaped fruit and veg is at risk of being overlooked.

She said; “The fact that half of consumers would buy good quality oddly-shaped fruit and veg and the recent focus on food waste shows there is scope to actively use the non-standard quality of produce as a selling-point.”


According to the survey, as many as 93% of all Brits buy fresh fruit every week, while 90% buy fresh vegetables.

It also found that overall in the UK, 46% of fruit and veg buyers say they are trying to eat the recommended five portions of fruit or vegetables per day.

But despite this, 50% agree that it is difficult to eat as many as five-a-day, a figure which rises to 57% among 25 to 34-year-olds.

By contrast, taking on board the recommended five-a-day seems less of a task for the nation’s older generation, as just 40% of those aged 65 and over say it is difficult.

Market growth

 Thanks to a 16% growth between 2009 and 2014 the combined fruit and vegetable market in the UK, including potatoes, stands at an estimated £16bn – up from just under £14bn five years ago.

However, Mintel added that while sales of fruit and vegetables are forecast to rise to just under £19bn by 2019, this growth is expected to be driven by inflation.
Soininen said: “Rising prices are expected to remain the main driver of value growth, though the impact of weather on crops continues to create an added element of uncertainty.”

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