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Dear Intermarché,

First of all, congratulations on your incredibly successful campaign for the ‘inglorious fruits and vegetables’. This past month we couldn’t open Facebook, Twitter or our inboxes without seeing messages of friends and fans pointing us to your video of failed lemons and ugly carrots. Though you definitely were not the first with this idea*, you seemed to have the right person for the job. A 24% increase in store traffic, daily sales of 1.2 tons per store and a reach of more than 21 million people: we could only dream of such numbers. Chapeau!

Being wonky lovers ourselves, we are more than happy that retailers like yourself agree with us that being straight is overrated and that a crooked cucumber really tastes just the same as its straight brother. Fruits and vegetables should not be wasted because of their looks. Luckily, we see that more and more consumers, retailers, governmental organizations and farmers realize that reducing food waste is of key importance. And where else to start than with marketing the low-hanging inglorious fruits? The idea in itself is not bad at all. It’s pretty awesome if we may say so. Yet, a few things have been keeping us awake.

First of all, the positioning of the fruits and vegetables. We think crooked cucumbers, heart shaped potatoes and other so-called ‘inglorious’ fruits and vegetables are way more fun and extra special. So why would you call them ugly or ‘moche’? The same feeling of inferiority is communicated in the price. We read you sold the products at discounts of 30%. Wasn’t the whole point that a hideous orange is just as good as a perfect orange? Then why should we pay less? If we want to change the perception of consumers, shouldn’t we stop giving them the wrong cues? In addition, what we understood from the vegetable growers in our network is that selling products at such a discount often means that the farmer or grower sells his product at or below cost price. At the same time, the wonky veggies will compete with the growers’ –better priced- ‘perfect’ veggies, thereby making it even harder for them to make a living. That doesn’t sound too good to us.

Secondly, we hope that the two days of fame for our beloved fruits and veggies will last a little longer. We read that after the first two days you did not continue the sale of inglorious fruits and vegetables; though we read that some stores follow your example and you do seem to have plans to continue on a larger scale at the end of 2015. We really do hope that those 21 million people who may be convinced of wonky vegetables will soon (what about 2014?) have an opportunity to make a better choice.

Of course we are not perfect ourselves either and we also struggle with finding the right way to save as many wonky veggies as possible. But we do have a dream. We dream of a world where wonkies and perfect produce lay peacefully and equally next to each other on the shelves. A situation where all wonky fruits and vegetables end up on our plates instead of in the bin. We hope that you will help us in realizing this dream by offering wonky vegetables for normal prices in all you stores as soon as possible. Oh, and for the love of wonkies, please call them beautiful!

With love from your partners in crime,

Chantal, Lisanne en Jente

* See for example the campaigns of Sainsbury and Waitrose


Kromkommer (wordplay meaning ‘crooked cucumber’) is a social enterprise that aims to get wonky fruits and vegetables back on our plates. In May of this year Kromkommer launched three soups made of vegetables that would otherwise be wasted because of their looks or overproduction. During the first two months more than 7000 soups have been sold. Kromkommer believes in a world without food waste and works together with its Krommunity of growers, partners and fans to make sure all fruits and vegetables, whether straight, wonky, big, small or discolored, will be used for consumption.