Kroger's New Produce Program Targets Food Waste

As part of their "Zero Hunger, Zero Waste" initiative, Kroger has come up with some pretty creative ideas to introduce sustainability and combat food waste in America. Their latest plan will include launching a new produce line of "ugly" produce. By 2019, the supermarket chain will launch "Peculiar Picks," a line of physically-flawed fruits and vegetables that are totally safe to eat, just not uniformly beautiful.

Meet the Clean 15: The Fruits and Vegetables Least Likely to Poison You

At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Food Forward Summit in Washington, D.C., Nicole Davis, the senior innovation manager at Kroger, announced the news of Peculiar Picks. "Our goal is to encourage our consumers to try these items so there is not so much waste," Food Navigator USA reports her saying about the "ugly" produce that is typically rejected for being "too tiny," "too bumpy," and "too freckled" by most supermarkets.

These rejected produce products are a fraction of the 6 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables that go unused every year. "Six billion pounds of produce! That is astounding," she said.

If Kroger's new produce program looks familiar to you, then you've probably been up on the trend toward combating food waste since last year. The idea is strikingly similar to Imperfect, a fruits and vegetables delivery service that delivers fresh but slightly misshapen, scarred, or oddly sized fruits and vegetables that are still safe to eat, and delicious. It became popular in 2017, and the company delivers its produce to various cities across the U.S.

Other plans for Kroger's Zero Hunger, Zero Waste initiative include discontinuing the use of plastic bags in all Kroger-owned stores by 2025. Didn't realize Kroger was so dedicated to sustainability? Learn more with 10 things you didn't know about Kroger.