Skip to main content

Grocery wars get ugly: Hy-Vee now offers discounts on misshapen fruit and veg

Discounts of up to 30 percent on produce that doesn't conform to society's expectations of beauty.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Hy-Vee is making shoppers think twice before discarding misshapen fruit and vegetables from now on, by offering discounts on so-called "ugly" produce.

In an attempt to combat the country's food waste issue (and make a few bucks at the same time, no doubt), the Iowa-based grocery chain's stores will feature "cosmetically challenged" fruit and vegetables that can be found in bins named "Misfits."

In an announcement this week, the chain says it will have four to six "Misfit" fruit and veg to choose from every week, which will carry discounts of around 30 percent compared to the produce that conforms to society's expectations of beauty.

Peppers, cucumbers, squash, apples, mandarins and tomatoes have been among the misshapen food to appear in stores so far.

Citing United Nations data that estimates 20-40 percent of produce harvested each year is thrown away because it doesn't meet "sizing standards" for store shelves, Hy-Vee hopes to challenge perceptions and educate consumers about waste, as well as giving farmers a new outlet to sell so-called ugly produce.

"The beauty of this program is that the produce tastes the same and is of the same high quality, it just looks different. As the saying goes, you can’t judge a book by its cover. The same is true for Misfits fruits and vegetables," said John Griesenbrock, Hy-Vee’s vice president of produce/HealthMarkets.

"As a company with several focused environmental efforts, we feel it’s our responsibility to help educate consumers and dispel any misperceptions about produce that is not cosmetically perfect."

Hy-Vee is one of the newest entrants to the Twin Cities grocery market, with five stores already open (in New Hope, Eagan, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Park and Oakdale) and according to the Business Journal, nine more in the pipeline as it pursues an aggressive strategy.

Next Up

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Man dies after being shot during argument in Minneapolis

It's the 70th homicide in Minneapolis this year.

NearNorthEncampment

Minneapolis police, city employees clear out Near North encampment

This comes as colder weather moves through the state.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 4.32.46 PM

New T.J. Maxx to open in the Twin Cities this month

Opening day will kick off with extended hours.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 3.04.24 PM

Former Hennepin County commissioner arrested for DWI

The 61-year-old was being held in Hennepin County Jail as of Thursday morning.

Evie Carshare

Electric carshare network showing growth in Twin Cities

Over 25,000 trips have been logged in a six-month span.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 1.11.01 PM

Popular Apple Valley ice arena could be replaced

A concept plan to transform the ice arena is being considered.

21a171abc8c6a3619739a786eed516a563206c38bec4a972944e80fa213b9ab6

Low river levels bring cancellations for St. Paul-New Orleans Viking cruises

The low water also impacted some barge traffic making its way down the river.

10.6 Tempest Weather Thumbnail

Drought tightens grip as Twin Cities reaches 'extreme' level

By this time last year, drought was fading fast in Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-06 at 11.23.49 AM

Woman missing since car crash has been found

The 49-year-old is believed to have been driving when the crash happened.

COVID-19 vaccine testing Mall of America

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for the week ending Tuesday, Oct. 4

The 7-day average number of cases has been dropping.

Related

Grocery wars get ugly: Hy-Vee now offers discounts on misshapen fruit and veg

Discounts of up to 30 percent on produce that doesn't conform to society's expectations of beauty.

The vegan restaurant that closed because it was so popular is now open again

J. Selby's initially opened expecting 250-300 customers a day. They got 700-800.

The vegan restaurant that closed because it was so popular is now open again

J. Selby's initially opened expecting 250-300 customers a day. They got 700-800.

Here's why MN now has thousands more small bakeries and pickling businesses

A rule change in 2015 has opened the door for thousands of home-based food entrepreneurs.

Here's why MN now has thousands more small bakeries and pickling businesses

A rule change in 2015 has opened the door for thousands of home-based food entrepreneurs.

Next for Hy-Vee in Minnesota, big convenience stores

The grocery chain looks to challenge gas station stores