So, the news that attracted my attention today was from Sweden. I think it would not be doing Sweden a disservice to say that it very rarely makes the news. It's not bankrupt, it's not got asylum seekers jumping aboard moving trucks, it's not involved in the Ashes, it just seems to get on with things. Probably in Sweden a Volvo breaking down is front-page stuff.
In fact, I am actually writing, while desperately trying to think of a news story that I remember reading that originated in Sweden and did not involve Sven Goran Erikkson and/or Ulrika Jonsson. And I can't. Anyway, we digress. Where were we, oh yes. News. Sweden. Ugly fruits...
So a supermarket in Sweden, Coop, has committed to selling 'ugly fruit and vegetables'. Now, as all good cryptic crossword lovers will know, there is an 'ugli fruit'. but know, it is not a typo and a story about the exotic fruit aisle, it is a commitment to start selling 'contorted carrots and twisted turnips'.
According to the story, between 15 and 30% of all fruit and vegetables is wasted before it even reaches the shelves, basically because it is rejected as the supermarkets think that we, the consumer, will not want the weird-looking potato or the abnormally-large aubergine. So the Coop has launched the It's the Inside That Counts campaign, in which said freaky fruits will be packaged and labelled up and sold at a slight discount as opposed to their more aesthetically pleasing soil-mates.
Now, anything that reduces food waste has got to be a good thing, and I for one think this is a great idea. I just just see myself down the supermarket with the children. 'Go and get a big of carrots"... "no, the strange ones, the weirder the better'. After all, they'll taste the same.
So a huge pat on the back for Coop from me for this venture, it will be interesting to see how it pans out and whether the Swedish public take to it.
MARK LINGARD, MARKETING