Researchers have discovered that when grocery stores take a direct approach to sales of misshapen produce, advertising it as ‘ugly produce’, consumers are more likely to purchase it.
Existing research shows that consumers visiting the aisles of grocery stores believe that the products are of weird shape or marked as low quality, poor taste and low health. This "unfavorable" factor is something most of us can think of, but it also causes a large amount of unnecessary loss of high-quality fresh products every year.
In the United States alone, it is estimated that $15.4 billion of edible products are discarded each year, some of which can be attributed to consumer rejection of unpopular fruits and vegetables. In addition, the researchers wrote that as many as 30% of crops are considered unsuitable for sale in supermarkets because they do not meet aesthetic standards.
But, consumers’ buying habits are also a powerful tool to try and reduce some of this catastrophic waste. And so the researchers on the new study wanted to determine whether a bit of psychological manipulation might steer their decision making towards the unloved fruit and vegetables.
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