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Something off with Price Chopper's new produce program

Price Chopper/Market 32 is now offering a unique line of Misfits produce in 15 stores in New York, Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut. This line of produce offers customers more fruit and vegetable variety at a lower cost while helping to reduce produce waste.Misfits-Products

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 to broaden the size and shapes of produce allowed for sale.

“We understand there is produce left in the field because farmers don’t think there is a market for it,” Craig Arneson, Robinson Fresh general manager of the north region, said in a press release. “With the Misfits program, farmers have an outlet to sell more produce and customers have an opportunity to save money and help reduce waste.”

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.

“Price Chopper/Market 32 is committed to doing our part to reduce food waste, with programs like Fresh Recovery, through which we salvage tons of non-salable but entirely edible fresh food at store level for the Feeding America Foods Banks in our marketing areas," the company said in the release. "Misfits is a natural extension of this commitment, as it gives our customers the impetus to reduce waste at the household level while highlighting the amount of fresh produce wasted in the U.S. due to cosmetic imperfection.”

Each week, four to six Misfit commodities are delivered, based on what is seasonally available and peaking in freshness. Misfits produce is sold at a 20-30 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.