KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The midwest grocery store chain, Hy-Vee, has partnered with one of the world’s largest producers of fresh produce, Robinson Fresh, to help reduce food waste.
You’ll see the difference in the produce food aisle in what’s being called ‘The Misfit’ bin. The bin is full of so-called ‘ugly’ produce, from squash medley to oranges and apples, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
“You can’t think of it as bad or rotten produce,” said Bob McMullen, produce manager. “It’s not that. What it really is, is misshapen or imperfect produce.”
McMullen says more than 30 percent of the U.S. food supply is thrown away every year. He says the USDA has set a standard to reduce that by 50 percent by the year 2030.
“It’s great for the consumer because they can get produce at a reduced price. It’s great for the farmer because now they’re selling produce that they would normally throw away. It makes them more profitable too. It’s a win-win for everybody,” said McMullen.
A bag of misfit lemons sells for 99 cents compared to the everyday price of two for three dollars.
A bag of misfit apples sells for $2.50. That’s a savings of at least two dollars.
The selection of misfits changes every week. Four to six Misfits® produce are delivered to the store weekly.
“Our customers have just been loving it. I’ve actually had to increase my orders lately because it’s become so popular,” said McMullen.
The ‘ugly’ produce is available in nearly all of Hy-Vee’s 242 grocery stores.