Shoppers Food & Pharmacy stores in Baltimore are now offering Robinson Fresh’s Misfits line of fresh produce, which offers customers more fruit and vegetable variety at a lower cost while helping to reduce produce waste.
Misfits, a program provided by Robinson Fresh, helps connect consumers to tasty but misshapen fruits and vegetables at a reduced price. In an effort to curb produce waste due to size and shape restrictions from industry standards, Misfits works with retailers like Shoppers to broaden the size and shapes of produce allowed for sale.
“It’s important to our company and it’s important to our customers that we find sustainable business solutions at a lower cost,” says Mike Patterson, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy director of Produce. “We’re still providing consistent quality and taste, but these vegetables might look a little different than what’s normally on our shelves.”
The United Nations estimates between 20 to 40 percent of produce harvested each year is thrown away because it does not meet sizing standards for store shelves. In accepting less cosmetically-pleasing produce on Shoppers’ shelves, the company is also aligning with USDA’s goal of reducing food waste by 50 percent by the year 2030.
“We understand there is produce left in the field because farmers don’t think there is a market for it,” says Hunter Winton, Robinson Fresh GM/West. “With the Misfits program, farmers have an outlet to sell more produce and customers have an opportunity to save money and help reduce waste.”
Each week, four to six Misfit commodities are delivered, based on what is seasonally available. Misfits produce is sold on average at a 30 percent discount. All products are of the same taste and quality of typical produce, but may have a little more character than other produce. Robinson Fresh is collaborating with a handful of select retailers who align with the goals of the program.
Shoppers Food & Pharmacy, which is member of Supervalu’s corporate stores family, operates more than 50 full-service supermarkets in Baltimore, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Shoppers targets price-conscious consumers offering over 30,000 everyday low prices and a commitment to save up to 15 percent or more every day with no card needed.