Supermarket chain Lidl is finally launching its £1.50 Too Good To Waste fruit and vegetable boxes across the country – after it was piloted in Derbyshire.
The store began a six-month trial of the scheme in a select number of stores – including Ripley, Sandiacre and Langley Mill – in August, which was well received.
Over the last six months, Lidl has gradually extended the wastage program to 122 stores in England. The company said it has so far sold more than 50,000 Too Good To Waste boxes, and prevented 250 tonnes of food going to waste. Now, the German discounter is rolling out the veg boxes in all branches in England, Scotland, and Wales.
The £1.50 boxes contain about five kilos of slightly damaged, discoloured or deteriorated fruit and veg.
But while “imperfect”, everything included is still perfectly good to eat.
Boxes are put together daily by staff and are available to customers from opening until midday, after which they are given to local charity and community programs through Lidl’s surplus food redistribution programme, Feed it Back.
Lidl has been keen to stress its £1.50 boxes are different to similar “wonky veg” campaigns, which allow supermarkets to sell fruit and veg grown which don’t meet unnatural and rigid size and shape specifications.
Lidl said previously that it doesn’t use the term wonky veg.
The company doesn’t believe products should necessarily be priced down for being a slightly different shape or size.
The supermarket said it instead works very closely with suppliers to ensure a degree of flexibility with specifications at different times of the year, so a wider range of goods is included within standard lines. It also takes seasonality into account.
Christian Härtnagel, CEO of Lidl GB, said: “The positive feedback that we have received off the back of our trial has been incredible; from our colleagues who are showing so much passion for them, to our customers who were getting in touch from the get go asking where they could get one.
“We’re therefore really excited to be rolling the boxes out to all of our stores nationwide, and we’re really pleased to see that it’s also starting to be adopted by other supermarkets.
“The really brilliant thing about this initiative is that, not only is it helping to tackle the highly important challenge of food waste, it’s also helping our customers make even more savings.
“Additionally, it’s a great example of how we, as discounter, can utilise our lean and efficient business model to fulfil our mission to make good, healthy food more affordable and accessible, while acting sustainably.”