Hy-Vee has marketed more than a million pounds of Misfits produce since it began offering the cosmetically imperfect items in nearly all its 240-plus stores in January.
“Ugly” produce items are those that fall short of retail size and shape standards. The Misfits line is offered by Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Robinson Fresh.
“We are thrilled that Misfits fruits and vegetables have been so well received by our customers in such a short time,” John Griesenbrock, vice president of produce and HealthMarkets for Hy-Vee, said in a news release. “This volume of food waste diversion is an encouraging sign that Hy-Vee’s focus on educating consumers about food waste issues around the world is having a positive effect, and we are excited to build upon these efforts going forward.”
Hy-Vee stores participating in the program receive four to six Misfits items per week based on what is in season. Peppers, cucumbers, squash, apples and tomatoes are among the products that have been offered. They are sold at an average discount of 30%.
“We have found Hy-Vee to be a rewarding collaborator for the Misfits program,” Jim Lemke, president of Robinson Fresh, said in the release. “We are pleased to help provide a program that is beneficial to both consumers and retailers alike.”
Hy-Vee is reducing landfill waste in other ways, including donating produce and diverting most of its food waste to compost.