Ugly Vegetables Becoming a Hit in Canada

Mar 07, 2016 11:52 AM EST | By Josine Macaspac (


Ugly produce is getting some love from Canadians. Canadian food retailer Loblaw Companies Limited, has recently announced that it will be expanding the range of produce included in its Naturally Imperfect line.

The pilot project started by selling imperfect apples and potatoes in select stores in Ontario and Quebec. These produce were being sold at 30 percent less than the normal price of other produce. Financial Post reports that before the Naturally Imperfect line, the imperfect products might have been used for juices, sauces, soups or dehydration.

Dan Branson, senior director of produce as Loblaw Companies Limited says "Through working with our many partners we came up with the 'no name Naturally Imperfect' produce line, produce that may be smaller, misshapen, or have a slight blemish - all imperfections that do not affect the quality and taste of the product, but allow us to offer the product at up to 30 percent less than conventional produce items."

The ugly food movement initially took off in Europe and Australia. This movement initially began due to growing concerns for food waste. Loblaw on the other hand, initially launched the project in March 2015 as a means of offering cheaper alternatives to shoppers as the price for fresh food increases. Branson also said "I think it really spoke to the fact that Canadians are out there really looking for some options around driving value to their weekly shop and having greater accessibility to that healthy eating product of value."

Due to the project's success, the line is set to include other imperfect looking produce such as peppers, onions and mushrooms for Ontario and Quebec. The program will also now be expanding to Lowblaw's Real Canadian Superstore, Your Independent Grocer, and some No Frills and Maxi store in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba as these locations started stocking homely apples and peppers.  Meanwhile, Naturally Imperfect apples are now available in Atlantic Superstore and Your Independent Grocer in the Atlantic provinces.

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