Firstly, well done to ASDA for rolling out the superb Wonky Box yesterday into some of its stores. It got me excited, I purchased one, I Instagram’d it, I was interviewed about my thoughts on it and I’ve so far planned a weeks worth of dinners from it. It’s a bloody good idea ASDA, I’m glad someone finally did it.
The £3.50 ASDA Wonky Box, is a 5kg cardboard box crammed with fresh veggies, that would otherwise not have made it into the supermarket shelves because of it non-perfect appearance. I was disappointed though to open the box and actually find NO wonky veg. Just normal looking veg. Where was my rude carrot or my mutant cucumber? Instead I was faced with a box of perfectly boring (if not tasty) veg. Humpf. Must try harder ASDA. I wanted FREAKS!
My second disappointment came from where I actually found the Wonky Veg box within the store. Anyone who is a regular ASDA-goer will know that all of their best deals are normally at the front of the store, by the entrance doors, big yellow and red stickers, posters and 2ft high price tags all drawing the shopper to the said bargain. But not for the poor Wonky Box. It was stuck at the very end of the vegetable aisle, away from the eager bargain-hungry shopper’s eyes. It was on a pallet, and there were no fancy labels. And the price tag was only about 3cm high.
So why is this a problem? I have a theory. The supermarkets want to look like the bee’s knees selling its knobbly bobbly veg, They want you to think “Wow, ASDA really care about us poor folk and want to help us out.” The Wonky Box is just a trial run. If it fails they can go back to binning the shameful veg that makes them little money and go back to selling the Sexy Aubergines and the Manly Parsnips with stickers that scream ‘Chosen by You!’. ‘Chosen by you’… that’s an interesting phrase. I didn’t want to choose that straight edge hunky carrot, I quite like rough and ready ones. I don’t know why, but I think it comes from my childhood of growing-our-own. That’s what a carrot looks like right? Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall ran a programme about his War On Waste recently and he managed to get Morrisons selling a couple of wobby Courgettes (if I remember correctly), but once again the store trialling the courgettes failed to make them look appealing, instead they were just shoved to one side, below the fancy courgettes out of direct eye line. Have you noticed that all of the snazzy expensive supermarket buys are at eye level? The ‘value’ goods tend to be on the bottom shelf, were mums with bad backs never dare to bend.
So why do we need to scrap the Wonky Veg Box? Because Wonky Veg is normal! Its edible, its tasty, its just as bloody good for us! The new ASDA Wonky Veg box is amazing, don’t get me wrong. Its opening the doors for families on a budget, is getting more people buying good quality produce for a much lower price, and its giving the farmers that would otherwise be shafted a bit of extra income rather than seeing their crops rot to waste. Lets keep the Wonky Veg box going… for now. But I would love to see them scrapped altogether, and instead every shelf in every supermarket filled with lumpy bumpy fruit and veg. Lets get folk’s opinions changed, and lets stop the Celery Snobbery. We encourage people not to judge, so why should judging a vegetable be any different?
Actually in an ideal world we would all buy local farm produce, but I feel that we are along way off of that. Lets just take one small baby step at a time. For now, we are doing great!!